What’s a triambic icosahedron? West Palm’s latest piece blends art, math


Deep Thought metal sculpture combines art and math in West Palm Beach park

If it’s the first triambic icosahedron you’ve seen, don’t be embarrassed. They don’t come along every day.

One has come along to West Palm’s Sullivan Park, where West Palm recently installed “Deep Thought,” the latest addition to the city’s Art in Public Places collection.

The golden, 60-sided metal globe, made of triangular panels with lacy, laser-cut designs and illuminated from inside with LED lights, is the work of California artists Serge Beaulieu and Yelena Filipchuk, who go by the collective name, COZO, for Construction Zone.

The work combines geometry, science, art and light, shadow and perception, as they put it. Its name refers to the city-sized computer that works to find the answer to the universe in the British sci-fi comedy, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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Deep Thought is big as a metal sculpture as well, at 15-by-14 feet, 2,300 pounds.

The Air in Public Places program, funded by fees on new developments, paid $65,000 to buy and recondition the work, first showcased at the Burning Man art festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert in 2015.

The program’s public art requirement has contributed to murals and outdoor sculptures in various spots around the city.

At the same meeting last December when the city commission approved the purchase of Deep Thought, it also approved another public sculpture, a $333,000 work by Miami glass artist Terje Lundaas, to rise at the Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach hotel. The hotel is under construction at 1718 S. Dixie Highway and Trinity Place, just north of Okeechobee Boulevard.

The Lundaas work will include two pieces: one, a series of nine root-like structures that appear to crack through the ceiling and dangle 70 feet toward the floor, the other an 10-foot banyan “root” that appears to break through the southern wall of the hotel’s ground floor restaurant and crack into the sidewalk below.

The public art program also helped bring the temporary installation, Musical Swings, to Clematis Street in 2016. That was a 10-swing, outdoor set whose seats had sensors that linked to a computer that responded to their motion with music.

As for Deep Thought, if you want to know what a triambic icosahedron is, Wikipedia offers the following definition: It’s “the dual to the uniform small ditrigonal icosidodecahedron.”

If that doesn’t clear things up, see for yourself. Sullivan Park is at Windsor Avenue and 31st Street, halfway between Lake Mangonia and the Old Northwood Historic District.

Follow Staff Writer Tony Doris on Twitter, at: https://www.Twitter.com/TonyDorisPBP.

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