Michael Jantzen Studio


The Sacred Orbiting Oak Tree Observatory

 The Sacred Orbiting Oak Tree Observatory is a public conceptual art installation that celebrates the beauty and uniqueness of the oak tree. The observatory consists of a large painted steel cylindrical center structure; with a much larger elevated circular painted steel ring (supported by columns) that encircles it. A live oak tree planted into a cylindrical shaped container slowly moves around on a track mounted into the elevated steel ring. An electric motor that moves the oak tree around on the track is powered by solar panels, which are mounted on the roof of the center cylindrical structure. As a result, the tree only moves when the sun is shinning onto the solar panels. Visitors can watch the orbiting sacred oak tree through perimeter windows, by climbing the spiral staircase located at the base of the center cylindrical structure. The conceptual intent of this installation is to create a feeling of wonder in the minds of those who visit it, similar to the feelings one might get after encountering an ancient ruin such as Stonehenge. I hope that visitors would leave the Sacred Orbiting Oak Tree Observatory wondering what the real function of it is, and as a result, fulfill the true purpose of the installation by creating their own stories.