Client: Texas Tech University
Location: Lubbock, TX, United States
Completion date: 2015
Public Art Agent
Texas Tech University
“Agave Dreams” was designed for the new Texas Tech University Plant Sciences Building.
“Agave Dreams” is a female figure, kneeling on the earth with outstretched hands touching the ground. Sheltered between her hands grows a live agave, a plant with a history of deep significance to the native peoples in the area. Traditionally, the agave was considered life—a plant providing spiritual and cultural identity. Agaves provided many essential needs, including fibers for clothing, poultices for wounds, medicines, poisons for arrowheads, building materials, beverage and food. As food, the use dates back about 11,000 years based on archeological remains of cooked agave in pits.
The stylized figure was welded from over one thousand laser-cut steel triangles using 3d-scanning, cutting-edge algorithms from computer graphics, and software custom developed by the artist as design tools. The faceted appearance, while reminiscent of early twentieth century cubism, shows the contemporary design approach clearly.
Through her gesture of blessing the plant, “Agave Dreams” encourages us to question our attitude toward nature and the entire web of life. The mindset of separating subject and object, of detaching ourselves from nature, and of dividing the world into small parts assuming this will lead to an understanding of the whole, is contrasted with a holistic dream that seeks to integrate human physical and spiritual needs with the rest of creation by recognizing both as fundamentally one.