University Museums

Title: Memory / Echo / Passage
Name: Environmental Installation
Date: 1994
Medium: Ceramic tile, gold leaf, slate, brick, granite
Dimensions: A- exterior tile urn: 241 1/4 x 205 5/16 in. (612.8 x 521.5 cm) B- exterior tile circle: 79 1/4 in. (201.3 cm) C- interior black slate wall: 104 x 389 1/2 in. (264.2 x 989.3 cm) D- interior urn in gold leaf: 53 3/8 x 8 1/2 in. (135.6 x 21.6 cm) E- interior circle in gold leaf: 22 3/8 in. (56.8 cm) F- interior floor circle in gold leaf and bronze: 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm)
Classification: Architecture, Architectural Ornamentation and Elements
Credit Line: An Iowa Art in State Buildings Project for Sweeney Hall. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Location: Iowa State University, Sweeney Hall
Object Number: U94.66a-f
More Information
This public work of art is divided between two locations at Sweeney Hall: the west exterior wall and the east wall of the interior lobby.

The exterior wall features inlaid marble tiles in the brick facade to create a flask and circle design combined with the applied words: memory, restructure, reprocess, resequence, and recombine. The interior lobby restates the flask and circle motif in gold leaf on a gray slate wall while adding the alchemist’s goal of a circular pot of gold inlaid into the floor.

The flask and circle are symbolic of the basic information system of chemical engineering. The flask symbolically contains chemical information and the circle symbolizes the chemical ring of elements.