Letter: Push to Digitize 'Sphere Gains Momentum!

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602 S. Gay Street
2nd Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902

I thought Dan Morelock’s comments on digitizing the Sunsphere was a rather good idea, depending on how it’s done. [“Shine up the ’Sphere and Digitize it!” May 29, 2014] I would not like to see it become just another one of those glaring electronic billboards—that would guarantee it wouldn’t be seen anymore. People’s eyes would glaze over as they thought, “Geez—just another annoying billboard!” But one thing I’ve always loved about the Sunsphere: It reminds me of a giant “living” quilt in the way it reflects sky, clouds, trees, shadows, people, water. It’s fascinating—I’ve almost tripped over myself when I’ve walked under it, just staring up at it as it changes patterns from moment to moment. It seems like a wonderful symbol of our local pioneer and craft heritage.

So while I like parts of the digitized Sunsphere idea, I would want to see images of East Tennessee and Knoxville in those digitized squares—not commercial ads! I would also like to see the ’Sphere as is, without digitization, on a regular basis—like at specific times of the day, or at the top of every hour. Just promote it as is, as a “quilt” of reflections of the world around it—from the clouds above to the people of Knoxville walking below. That may not be visible to those whizzing by on the interstate—but to those of us walking the nearby streets, it’s fascinating, and uniquely Knoxville.

Marianne Chrystalbridge


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