In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, Open Space commissioned a number of new posts from artists and writers. Hughen/Starkweather have spent three years investigating the environmental, financial, historical, and political intricacies of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, and their ongoing series of artworks Approach, Transition, Touchdown attempts to reflect the complexities of that monumental structure. Open Space invited them to turn their attention momentarily to the Golden Gate Bridge, and they created five new works for the occasion.
WHEREAS, we issued our decree ordering the citizens of San Francisco and Oakland to appropriate funds for the survey of a suspension bridge from Oakland Point via Goat Island; also for a tunnel; and to ascertain which is the best project; and whereas the said citizens have hitherto neglected to notice our said decree; and whereas we are determined our authority shall be fully respected; now, therefore, we do hereby command the arrest by the army of both the Boards of City Fathers if they persist in neglecting our decrees.
Given under our royal hand and seal at San Francisco, this 17th day of September, 1872.
Hughen/Starkweather create collaborative artworks that explore the layers, complexities, and patterns that comprise a specific place. They research a location using current and historic photographs, maps, data, and personal interviews. The resulting artworks map the unique forms derived from the built systems and natural movements of a place. Their work has been included in Cartographic Imagination: Mapping in Contemporary California Art at San Francisco State University, among other exhibitions, and commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission for the Art on Market Street program. They were artists-in-residence at Oxbow (Calif.) in 2010. The artists have been collaborating since 2006, and live and work in San Francisco.