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Indybay Feature
Mon Nov 20 2017
Beloved Sculpture On Chopping Block in Palo Alto
"Censorship Committee" of Palo Alto Banishes Public Art Piece
On November 16, the Public Art Commission of Palo Alto voted unanimously to remove the artwork of Adriana Varella from the city’s public art collection. "Digital DNA", a seven foot tall egg shaped sculpture made of recycled circuit boards, imparts a political message—that technology generated by Silicon Valley has a far-reaching impact. It conveys that modern technology can enslave us, and reminds the viewer that technology is also used for warfare. In protest of the commission's decision, the artist created a more than 5 foot wide collage titled "Censorship Committee of Palo Alto". That work is currently on display at an art show about censorship in New York City.

The Raging Grannies, members of Friends of Digital DNA, appealed to the commissioners in a very brief open comment period at the November 16 commissioners meeting. They questioned whether the art commission is attempting to erase history, both that of the sculpture and the anti-gentrification movement, and they said that deaccessioning the piece amounts to political censorship.

In 2005 when the sculpture was dedicated, a group of two or three dozen anarchists gathered in the plaza to highlight the importance of retaining a gathering place for the people in Palo Alto. Performing rap songs that railed against the capitalist machine and the war in Iraq, they took the spotlight away from the official city dedication by showing up ahead of time and holding an alternative ceremony. The anti-gentrification movement went into full swing around that time.

Read More | Censorship Committee of Palo Alto Banishes Public Art Piece
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