Bridge Beardslee, Energy Alignment Sculpture: Pyramid in the Golden Section, 1976, steel and paint. SFU Art Collection. Gift of Ian Davidson, 1977. Photo: SFU Galleries.
Episode 3 | June 30
Brady Cranfield and Kathy Slade on Bridge Beardslee
“When the pyramid first arrived, I was quite pleased. I was even more pleased when I thought that the pyramid was realigned to magnetic north in response to my letter of September 8, 1977.”
In the central courtyard of SFU’s Burnaby campus is a steel framed, cerulean blue pyramid created by sculptor Bridge Beardslee. Energy Alignment Sculpture (1976) was made to reference the proportions of Cheops’ pyramid in Egypt, and positioned to align with the rotation of the Earth’s axis; although some questioned whether it was appropriately positioned to harness “pyramid power.” Brady Cranfield and Kathy Slade read letters and articles written following the sculpture's installation in 1977, to map a heated and often humorous exchange of local controversy surrounding the artwork. The sounds of a synthetic drone and gong are heard throughout, in reference to metaphysical speculations of the frequency 432 Hz, a number which also has connections to mythologies surrounding the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Brady Cranfield is a Vancouver-based sound and visual artist, musician, and writer. He holds a MA in Communications and MFA from Simon Fraser University. The founder and co-organizer (in collaboration with Kathy Slade) of the ongoing public art project The Music Appreciation Society, he is also a member of the improv/electronic/jazz trio Alfred Jarry and the duo Vomit Fraud with Kay Higgins.
Kathy Slade is based in Vancouver and works across disciplines in a variety of media including textiles, sculpture, sound, performance, film, video, print, and publication. Her work often points to moments and events in literature, art history and popular culture from which to reimagine temporalities and existing texts. She is faculty at Simon Fraser University's School for the Contemporary Arts.
[Image Description: Centred within a gravel courtyard lined with leafless trees, is a cerulean blue square pyramid made from a tubular steel frame. Behind the pyramid are cement steps that extend the length of the image and which lead to SFU’s Academic Quadrangle at the Burnaby campus.]