Tuesday, January 6

1% for Jury Duty

The second morning of jury duty, I sat and chatted with R, the FOF mentioned in last post. He had been called for a case Tuesday but was excused after questioning. It was a prostitution case and he was asked something along the lines of whose responsibility is it to prove innocence? R, remembering his constitution and high school civics, answered correctly and was promptly released.

Right before noon on Wednesday, our day two, the announcement was made that all the cases for the week had been settled and/or plea bargained and we were free to go. I know, it seems a total waste, but I choose to believe that we were important. I believe that our very presence upstairs was an important factor in the pursuit of justice, that our presence is what convinced everyone to negotiate in earnest.

Seattle has a "green" philosophy and an appreciation for the arts. Every civic construction project must include a 1% for the arts portion. Therefore, one sees random bits of art in the unlikeliest places. Since not many people get to serve as jurors in Seattle Municipal Court, here's some photos to show you what you are missing.

A nice little pocket park? Wee bit of green in the big city? Well yes, but

Seattle green roof, Muni building
this bit of green is 12 floors up. This is the rooftop terrace abutting the jury room. The days I was there we had sustained winds of at least 25 miles per hour, but the staff assured us that was not typical. (It was also windy at ground level. I almost got blown over crossing James Street.)

Looking west and down, a nice view of the green roof on the City Council's digs.

Seattle City Council green roof

I almost deleted the next photo. It's just a random skyline photo from the rooftop terrace. With dark grey skies and strong sustained winds and a little point-and-shoot, I just couldn't capture anything unique or worthy. There are lots of better skyline photos of Seattle.

Seattle Skyline

Now for the Art.

I think these floating colorful mesh cloudlike things work as benign addition to the room, especially given that we are on a high level with a sweeping view, but that the view for much of the year will be monochrome grey.


Elevator buttons programmed to play Life. I hadn't read the wall text until the end of the day so didn't know what it was or that one could play with it to start the process.

These three watches are part of a larger display of approximately 150 watches, (identical except for 4 Casios with silver bands). The wall text said that they were synchronized when the artwork was installed in 2005. (Or was it 2002?) It was Tuesday Jan 6th at the time, at about 4:30 PM. I get the being an hour off, but I don't get being two days ahead. I thought this model kept track of the month. If there'd been some leap years, it ought to be behind a couple days. I suppose it doesn't track months, that probably makes the calculations work. When I first saw the art, I couldn't figure out what pattern it was supposed to be, were the watches in some sort of picture or abstractly placed?


It wasn't until I took the photo of the entire piece and looked at it in the view screen of my camera that I saw the pattern.



kmkat said...


Minneapolis has a similar ordinance re: art in new construction. I wish it were a national law.

Erika said...

Elephants never forget (the time)?

KarenJoSeattle said...

Hey, Dorothy, in the shot of the City Council's roof garden you can see the back side of the Alaska Building in the upper right corner, above the construction site. I live kitty-cornered across the street, opposite the Dexter Horton Building, on the 19th floor. You could have waved, except for the wind and the fact that I was out all of that day trying to walk places against it.