Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Paint That Shit Gold, or Silver, If You Can't Afford Gold

You probably have heard by now that shortly after this was announced, the owners sold the building. It is now to be named the Willis Tower. I think Chicagoans' loyalty to the name "Sears Tower" is an example of capitalism fully integrated into every day life in Debordian sense. Stop and think for a moment. That Sears Roebuck & co commissioned the building to be made and owned naming rights, a form of branding and advertising, until 2003. They haven't had offices in that building for over 15 years. This is basically a question of brand loyalty here, to one company over another. A local, historical business enterprise over one from the UK. People will call it the Sears Tower for years. And if it remains black, won't the name changing be less of a difference? In a show of meaningless but fun subculture populism, a facebook group has formed to call it the Wesley Willis Tower, in honor of the deceased outsider musician. Also be sure to visit the "going green" link about a great way to fix a bald mountain.

> WBBM update

So apparently the Sears Tower is considering painting itself silver. Well, the owners of the skyscraper are; but it's always odd to think of a company whose job it is to be a building, not to do something else and is just located in a building. Why are they wanting to paint it silver? To stimulate the economy. But not as much as painting it gold would. The economy is too weak to handle the tallest building in America being painted gold. It seems like a trashy idea for sprucing up the skyline. Consider it the skyscraper equivalent of those bathtub covers that Empire Today will glue on top of your grungy old tub and shower. "Why build something new when we can just paint it classy silver?"

This mockup is great. On the left it looks like a 1950s film effect for a nuclear bomb going off. On the right, the building is covered in frost.

Actually the real reason has something to do with being environmentally responsible, but still doesn't make much sense. Perhaps the idea is reflective silver is more energy efficient than black. The Sears Tower is seeking a “silver rating” from an environmental group, so maybe it is just to say, “we’re almost first in environmentalism.” In any case, it is retarded. Maybe they should just paint it green, like the mountain in China. Or have Katherina Grosse do it:

Ikon Mural Project at Birmingham Central Library


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