Urge to Stand

© MacMurtrie/ARW

Urge to Stand is an interactive sculpture permanently installed at the Yerba Buena Gardens in front of Zeum, in San Francisco, California.

As ARW’s first public installation, this cast bronze and stainless machined sculpture was a departure for ARW and MacMurtrie, and indicates a more delible marker on time, which is echoed in the slow graceful movement of the figure.

In Urge to Stand, when a person of at least 100 pounds sits on a bench facing the globe, the kinetic element of the sculpture is activated. As the bench slowly lowers, it engages a large underground lever which activates a series of link rods driving the counterweighted figure’s movement. When the observer on the bench sits, the figure on the globe also sits. When the observer stands, the figure slowly rises.

The elements of physical mirroring and mutual gaze between the Urge figure and its observer create a bond that suggests the unity of the human species. The figure’s physiological structure is based on both the male and female body, further expressing the notion that there is a fundamental unity to our planet and the peoples that inhabit it.

The urge to rise and walk is an elemental symbol of humanity’s evolution: in MacMurtrie’s poetic description of the form, the viewer connects to these primal memories.