Peter Hite, 2006
The River, by Peter Hite, a 500 foot mosaic located in Baggage Claim, is about the stream of world culture. Instead of using words to express the forces that shape our world, it uses 300,000 postage stamps.
Countries tend to use postage stamps to mark time, places, people and events, combining these elements together calls to mind the forces that have shaped the world – directly and indirectly.
Six rivers make up the mosaic – the Nile, Amazon, St. Johns, Mississippi, Ganges and Yangtze. The mosaic’s metaphor was created to parallel a traveler’s viewpoint. From the air a traveler sees the geographic elements that change the course of a river. And so it is true with the mosaic. With the distance of time the elements that have shaped world culture become more evident. Upon landing the traveler sees the details of the landscape. As the viewer moves closer to the mosaic it is like landing. Details emerge to reveal the particular forces that have shaped diverse cultures.
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