Scan 5.1 was a 2013 commission based on the industrial view from the skyway. Structural and functional elements were re-envisioned as organic shapes and forms.
A recent re-reading of EO Wilson's Biophilia, reminded me that he argues that our interest in mechanical forms is another form of biophilia, defined as our innate "focus on life and lifelike processes." In the absence of sufficient novel and diverse natural inputs, it may be that we rely on built world elements to augment our visual experience, reading mechanical forms as potentially changing, evolving elements. Natural world inputs feature the novelty and unpredictability that engage our information-seeking minds. The repetition and precision in the built world, necessary from the point of view of structure and function, make this insufficient as a sole visual input. But connecting with both natural and built world elements might be an important part of visual experience in the urban landscape, and ultimately a factor in quality of life.
More about Scan 5.1
More about South Chicago's industrial history at this great blog ForgottenChicago.com