Florian Dombois, uboc No. 1 & stuVi2, 2013. Laser, rangemeter, Web site and mobile phone app, and 2 buildings.

Florian Dombois


Boston University

uboc No. 1 & stuVi2, a four-day public art installation by Swiss artist Florian Dombois, was on view from sunset until 2 a.m. during the TransCultural Exchange’s third biennial conference on international opportunities for artists. The theme for the conference was “Engaging Minds,” and curator Mary Sherman, founder and director of Trans­Cultural Exchange, invited Dombois to create this site-specific piece as a symbol of the conference’s underlying mission to emphasize the importance of art in making cross-cultural connections. The title of the installation, uboc No. 1 & stuVi2, refers to the two Bos­ton University buildings connected by Dombois’s laser light beam. The Boston University School of Law Tower, a concrete structure designed in 1964 by Modernist architects Sert, Jackson, and Gourley, is called the ugliest building on campus by students—hence “uboc No. 1.” Dombois says that he actually finds it kind of beautiful, an iconic example of Modernist architecture. The other building, recently constructed student housing, is a more generic steel structure. These buildings from different eras are similar in style, rather like a modern father and postmodern son. Dom­bois’s installation helped to underscore the similarities between the two, connecting them across time and space. Though he considers this work post-conceptual, he wanted a tangible object for his concept. The light beam became a trigger to imagine the sculpture. The connected buildings were the sculpture, too… see the entire review in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.