Crumble. Crash. Lawsuit.

This should not be funny, but it really is.

“Spaceship Earth” has crashed to the ground.

Barely three months after the $1 million sculpture was unveiled at Kennesaw State University, it collapsed in the middle of the night — all 175 tons — perhaps because of faulty glue.

What was intended as a gift for future generations rested instead as a pile of rubble Wednesday, blue rocks chipped and scattered in front of the Social Sciences building. The engraved phrase “our fragile craft” was visible amid the debris.

“Kind of ironic,” said Mary-Elizabeth Watson, a university employee. “I had no idea it was made up of so many pieces.”

News of the sculpture’s demise brought more questions than answers from the Finnish-born sculptor who created the piece and who goes by one name: Eino.

“How can stone collapse by itself?” he asked. “I’m devastated.”

Eino (pronounced Ay-no) called the sculpture Spaceship Earth to honor David Brower, an environmentalist. The sculpture depicted a bronze figure of Brower standing on top of the world. On Wednesday, the figure of Brower rested under debris.

18 comments

  1. eehrhart says:

    I walked by this pile of rubble yesterday. I saw the individual pieces strewn all over that area. Having spent the first 15 years of my career in the marble and granite industry I can state easily that although this may have been a work of art…..the artist should have used a qualified marble setter to construct and set the stone. In this massive piece there was not one pin or angle or accepted basic standard of holding stone together that I could see. It seemed that some epoxy had been spread on the joints in small areas and this was the extent. It is fabulously lucky that this did not fall and harm someone seriously. If they recreate this they need to get professional help for the artist on the installation.

  2. Mike Hauncho says:

    I am a student at KSU and with all due respect to the artist I thought it was a rather ugly piece of art. Of course that is just my opinion. There are better ways to spend money on a college campus than spending it on art work.

  3. Jeff says:

    The university did not spend anything on the pieve. It was a gift. And there are better things that a university can spend their money on, like…academics and expansion as opposed to sports. College sports have been holding higher education back for decades, and bring up questions about the academic qualifications of some of the athletes that get into certain schools. (Georgia Tech is a good example). I thought “Spaceship Earth” was the most beautiful piece of art on KSU’s campus, I though the message was important as well. The irony is overwhelming…lets just hope that this event is not a foreshadowing of things to come.

  4. rugby_fan says:

    Jeff,

    Before you heedlessly crticise college athletics and say that it hurts universities, consider that with most schools you can trace where the money goes (this is because it is money flowing into a state governmental body).

    You will see that high profile sports do pay for university expansions and academic facilities and improvements (how else is a school to pay for an eight figure science lab?).

    I do vehemently support the notion that universities should spend their money on the arts as that is an aspect of a well rounded liberal education, not to mention the fact that universities often act as repositores for works of art.

  5. Michael C says:

    College sports offer quite a lot to the college experience. On many campuses some of the buildings would not be in place if not for the revenue generated by college athletics.

    As for Tech, ever notice that no big deal is ever made of a non-athlete not making the grade, but have an athlete mess up in the classroom and all of collegiate athletics are damned.

  6. Nate says:

    I just finished grad school at KSU and from the people I have talked to, including some professors, it was not a popular sculpture. I myself was not impressed with it. I would have rather seen something made with historical influences or at least have some ties to the area, school, Georgia, anything. I will say that the new social science building adjacent to the rubble is quite impressive.

  7. jsm says:

    This attack on college athletics is laughable. If not for sports, some kids would never go to college. Sure, there are cases of massaging grades, but those cases are few compared to total numbers of student athletes. Those cases also don’t hurt the overall academics of an institution–only the particular athlete. Most college athletes get an education, even if in humanities. I’d say that’s better than no college education.

    Furthermore, some non-athlete kids wouldn’t go to college had sport programs not encouraged their interest while growing up.

    That stupid sculpture did nothing to encourage or enhance the education of any student on KSU’s campus. Since it was a gift, it doesn’t affect the big picture. The university is no different with or without it.

  8. Adam says:

    College athletics rarely turn a profit. To assume, across the board, that a school’s athletics program is propping up the rest of the school, in terms of money, isn’t accurate. The few schools that do turn a profit from athletics are the very large schools with very large programs. Overall, it’s a pretty small percentage.

    Don’t take my word for it. The NCAA itself wrote about the issue a decade ago: http://www.ncaa.org/releases/miscellaneous/1996/1996111901ms.htm

    And the president of Stanford alludes to it in this column just 3 years ago: http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2003/janfeb/upfront/presidents.html

    As far as I’m aware, the situation hasn’t dramatically changed in the last few years. For most schools, the athletics program is actually a drain on the coffers.

  9. jsm says:

    Remember that college athletics programs are scholarship programs. I don’t know of a scholarship program that is a net add to any university’s coffers.

  10. rugby_fan says:

    Is hyperbolic the Peach Pundit word of the day?

    This is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone so lucky to grace the Earth for a matter of minutes! Such an event never happens!

  11. Bill Simon says:

    jsm

    You stated this: If not for sports, some kids would never go to college.

    Pardon me while I shrug my shoulders and dare to ask: Where is it written that every kid must go to college?

  12. Brian from Ellijay says:

    KSU Football; Still undefeated! LOL. But seriously the new President, Dr. Papp, has laid the plans for the capital campaign for the team and the stadium.

  13. jsm says:

    Bill,

    It’s not written that every kid must go to college. My point was that sports is a reason that more kids go to college. What’s wrong with that? I think more kids going to college is a good thing.

Comments are closed.