Space | Antony Gormley

Antony Gormley

Chord, 2016

905 stainless steel elements of varying section sizes and 541 stainless steel balls


1706 x 321 x 341 cm

Commissioned with MIT Percent-for-Art Funds

This public art tour is an investigation of the space within and around the select pieces of public art on MIT’s campus. Walk around, through, and under pieces to find different relationships and perspectives.

This tour was created by Joe Faraguna, Class of 2020 in Bioengineering. Faraguna was a List Center Student Guide for all four years of his undergraduate career. 

Antony Gormley’s Chord likewise undermines its own massive form: 905 thin rods and two distant anchor points at the ground and the skylight secure this 1700 pound welded stainless steel sculpture in place. The sculpture’s form reconciles geometry and nature, suggesting their union on multiple levels. References to sine waves, DNA, crystalline molecular structures, bubbles and foam are quite appropriate given the sculpture’s location at the intersection of the chemistry and mathematics buildings. The majority of the rising helical form is empty space; climb the staircase and look through the transparent cross sections. The sculpture is most alive when a slamming door or a careless student excites the accessible modes of resonance. When activated, the sculpture will shake, twist, and flex about the ball anchor points for fifteen minutes. Try focusing on the individual polyhedral faces, tracing a path in the rods from bottom to top, or seeing the whole airy form at once.


Building Number: 2

Accession Number: PFA.2016.001