Art preview: San Diego International Airport

The big expansion project at San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 2 doesn’t officially open for business until next Tuesday, August 13, 2013. But when it does, travelers will be treated to close to $6 million of specially created art.

Here’s a preview of a few pieces.


The Journey,” Jim Campbell, Terminal 2 West
Courtesy of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

The Journey is the largest new piece of art and and artist Jim Campbell’s largest piece. It’s a light ribbon six feet wide and 700 feet long and made of 38,000 LED lights. If you stand under the ribbon and look up, you’ll see images that include birds in flight and people swimming, dancing and walking.

SAN art

“Sublimare,” Merge Conceptual Design, elevated departure roadway
Courtesy of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

Sublimare, by Merge Conceptual Design (Franka Riehnelt and Claudia Reisenberger), can be seen on the underside of the elevated departure roadway and flanking the ends of the elevated walkways.

What is it? It’s described as “a physical interpretation of a giant kelp forest that alludes to the industrial kelp harvesting in the 1940s and its significance to San Diego’s environment and economy.”

There’s also The Relativator, by Living Lenses (Po Shu Wang and Louise Bertelsen), which is described as an elevator that explores Einstein’s theory of relativity in the sequence of elevator glass.

Here’s how this is explained: “It is essentially a gravity meter that calculates weight and movement affected by speed while traveling between floors. It shows the relation between people riding in the elevator and the movement of the elevator. The calculations are different every time and displayed in binary code.”

And then there are the bathrooms:


“Donde Esta?” Erik Carlson, Terminal 2 West bathroom entry
Courtesy of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

For the entry walls of eight new bathrooms, Erik Carlson created interactive videos showing local surfers, skateboarders, roller coasters and more. The longitudinal and latitudinal locations of each beach featured is laminated next to each video display.

There’s more art to see – and more art still to come, so be sure to plan a visit.

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