Sunday, February 13, 2011

Think First

The Cardiff Kook statue has been mocked into the local surf culture. Surfers took what they saw as a symbol of all that has gone wrong in Encinitas, and turned it around and made it their's. Because of the on going contribution of the community, the statue does provide a multi-dimensional reflection of our coastal community.

Encinitas has a special culture, even if it is increasingly diluted. It is not unique.You can find parts of it in places like Santa Cruz or Hawaii. A large fraction of our population tie their activities, perspectives, and values to what is happening along the transition from land to sea.

In the surf culture, there is a distrust of outsiders and lack of desire to be celebrated. I don't think there is need for another Swamis Kook. It's crowded enough.

Below, spontaneous suggestions posted to the Torrey Pines Tree to be carved out.

Notice on the Tree. Good Start.

We hope the city will be respectful and tolerant of cultural diversity.

The city is going to carve the old Torrey Pine tree at Swamis into an art piece. It would be wise to include the public in the visioning of the concept for the sculpture. Put the public in public art.

Yeap, sometime art by committee can purchase a well crafted piece that lacks courage and is bland. That can be a problem with public art.

If the public is not included in coming up with the concepts, for the sake of Jim, make a giant poster of the concept like Solana Beach did for their public art and display it in place for a month. Make sure it is not going to embarass the residents of Encinitas or take away from the natural beauty of Swamis.

Because of the swamis surf content stuff, there are two big email lists of people who care about Swamis. It would be great  to be able to send an email to the lists telling people that city is going to create public art out of the old Torrey Pines Tree, and that they are going to think before committing to a concept for the sculpture.

The City adopted a great idea for using the resources they had on hand, and Torrey Pine is botanically symbolic of our region. Good job so far guys. This is a great opportunity to rebuild trust with a skeptical surfing community.


  1. Although it wasn't the artist's intent, the Kook has really become public art. I love how the public has embraced this oddball and trys to help him out in his search for an identity. That said, hopefully we will not see a carved bear from the beautiful old tree...

  2. The Kook should have been approved by some sane locals before being sculpted. By the same logic the tree at Swami's will probably be some transplants dumb ass rendition of public art.

  3. The 'Kook' was approved by locals. Don Hanson was on the committee and the sculpture wax cast was available to comment on and opin on the Cardiff web site.
    No one paid attention.

  4. Heard that the stump at Swamis is going to be carved into a Moai by a local artist. Not too sure what connection a Moai has to Encinitas or to Swamis for that matter...Would much rather see something that has some kind of connection with the location

  5. Chris,

    Hansen's publicly apologized for the sculpture.

    When was the the wax cast put in front of the public?

    When the head and arms were cast it was then put on the cardiff website and did receive comment from the LB quietly warned that it would not be loved in the way it was desired.

    The arts commission asked for feedback at a council meeting and the ETA collected feedback. However, the collection of comments was criticized. It was apparently too late to change course.

    Solana Beach puts up big giant signs prior to placement. There was never a big sign along the 101 showing people what it would look like.

    A group of independent art/design people gave the statue an onion.

    The LB does not have the Jedi mind trick powers.

  6. Hi
    It would be advantageous, if you want to offer your input, to get involved with the design project. Of course when you get involved with a committee process, you certainly can end up with a result that makes allowances for all opinions and does not really satisfy anyone. Not sure what the best solution is.
    Hanson threatened to resign from the committee if it depicted a female.
    It is impossible to inform everyone about everything and no matter what the final design is, some will not like it.
    Eye of the beholder kind of thing.

  7. Jokes aside, the problem with the Cardiff Kook is that nobody likes it. It is a slap in the face to anybody who has made the sacrifices that are necessary to live near good waves. I feel embarrassed every time I carry a surfboard past it.

    It's initial conception was not well publicized. I've lived in Encinitas for 16 years, and I didn't know about it until it was nearly complete. This was probably purposeful: An attempt to subvert negative feedback. No red-blooded surfer wants a statue next to a highway advertising their favorite break.

    If I'm not mistaken, I believe that it was sculpted by someone in landlocked Hemet and, as LB says, only bits and pieces of it could be viewed ahead of time. However, I do remember Dan Dalager being very proud of the statue at a late-stage Council Meeting. I think he said something to the effect that it cost $90,000 but would be enjoyed by generations to come.

    Well, Dan may have been right.
    When my own kids hit their teen years, I have a feeling that the Cardiff Kook will provide them with lots of enjoyment.

  8. It is impossible to inform everyone. Is is very easy to give notice of when it is time to give ideas, how the suggestions will be reviewed, and what the tentative selection is. If anyone has an email address to post when comments are being solicited, we'll post it here.

    Solana Beach puts up a big sign with an image of the final product at the site before it goes up, just to make sure there is not an overwhelming negative eye on the final selection.

  9. The Swamis tree art should be a big wood carving of Brian Bilbray.

  10. Good idea JP, then at least he would have some roots in N. County, so to speak

  11. How about a big Grizzly Bear with Dan in his chops and a Lumberjack competition.

  12. As for the tree. I'm with Jamie on this. It has to have a real local conection to Swami's first and then to the Point. As for the kook. w2 get over it. The kook is here to stay. Embrace the kookness of it. It gives back month after month. I love the constant pranks on it. The true kooks at Cardiff are the SUP's! Be embarassed by them.

  13. Easter island Head


Thank you for posting on the Leucadia Blog.
There is nothing more powerful on this Earth than an anonymous opinion on the Internet.
Have at it!!!