Project Description

Ecstatic Voyaging   BART / VTA Milpitas Station Passenger Platform
Ecstatic Voyaging is a ceramic tiled environment running the 1000’ foot length of the Milpitas BART Station in California’s Silicon Valley. The monumental-scaled artwork captures twenty broad structural pillars of the new station as its canvas. I intervened early with the architectural team to design the shape of the columns formed with 8 facets. The thousands of tall slender handmade ceramic tiles move around the 20 pillars along the passenger platform.
Geographically, the station sits at a pivotal crossroads of the Santa Clara Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area in a community whose make-up is a mosaic comprising 29 language groups.  My dominant pattern utilizes a blown-up detail from an ancient Ikat weaving pattern. The word Ikat translates as "to tie or to bind" and serves as my metaphoric link to a dispersed, decentralized community. The highly revered complex weaving technique is practiced on most continents and has been considered as a predecessor to the silicon chip in its sophistication.
The overall repeated pattern on the tile is created by a hybrid resist process of iron oxide screen-printing followed by overglazing of the color. Embedded in the screening and glazing of the tiles are shards of culturally specific motifs and details of integrated circuitry as a palimpsest link to the Silicon Valley location. The continuous lines and shapes of sepia marks from the blown-up pattern suggests a sense of landforms.
Glazed in 5 shades of gold and copper, the repeated pattern traversing the columns includes chromatic interruptions as found in quilts. The occasional color shifts anticipate potential tile replacement expected in the long life of the new station in the global tradition of patching and mending.
My goal is for the passengers to move within the textural structure and tactile surfaces in a fluid space between abstraction and associative potential.