Fabled - CODAworx


Submitted by AREA C Projects

Client: City of Fort Worth, TX

Location: Fort Worth, TX, United States

Completion date: 2023

Artwork budget: $200,000

Project Team


Erik Carlson

AREA C Projects


Erica Carpenter

AREA C Projects


Poised in reach of ranch lands and open country, rich in both Western lore and briskly expanding new suburban developments, Far Southwest is a part of wider Fort Worth that lives deeply into the older roots of the city’s cowtown history while busily spreading out new ones. FABLED envisions this diverse and growing community working together to construct a lore of its own, a foundational, communal story pulled together from the many combined voices of its past, present and future residents. The form of the artwork takes cues from the grand columns commonly found in library architecture, presenting a fractal-like pillar of wood and glass in place of the traditional polished stone monolith. A series of suspended glass and wood fragments seem to flow down to main structure as if drawn to it, creating the impression that the viewer has caught the pillar in the act of assembling itself.

Cast glass apertures in the base reveal thousands of items of digital content sourced from community members, the city’s archives, and two week-long artist residencies in Fort Worth. Custom algorithms constantly mix and match the content throughout the day, revealing pieces of the city’s and neighborhood’s history, connections and community.


This artwork explores the ideas of stories, and of fable-making as place/home-making in the physical form of the artwork.

The configuration steps off from the form of a pillar, one however that is not heavy, defined and complete but rather captured in the act of assembling itself. From the ceiling of the library, its individual parts fall in fragments that each find their place within the developing core structure below. While the core form represents the stories already in place here, the falling pieces represent the voices of local residents who have not yet been born or arrived here – the voices from which that strong core of tales will continue to build and grow.

We see this evolving form as reflecting the community that will grow around the library: dynamic, improvisational, alive (a pillar made of wood, not stone) , and composed of many individual parts. Like the story of the neighborhood around this library, FABLED is a form that is not fully complete, but actively coming into being: rugged and firm at its core, yet also airy, reflective and open to light.

Additional Information

TITLE of the ARTWORK: Fabled is a word that’s a bit hard to pin down. Dictionaries define it simply as 1) famous or 2) fictitious, but when we describe a place as “fabled” we usually intend something between those two terms, and bigger than either of them: we’re saying that what people know about this place comes from the stories told about it. We’re saying in effect that those stories are part of its truth. When Amon Carter, Fort Worth’s fable-maker-in-chief, taglined the city “Where the West Begins,” it wasn’t because this motto was geographically accurate, but because it embodied the truth of the story he wanted to tell. The artwork’s title reflects the idea that the stories we make and share can be bigger than the facts of the moment. Like Fort Worth’s motto, they can come true in the telling, larger than life.