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1990 Free Speech Monument UC-B by SFAI's Mark Brest Van Kempen


Peter Selz with Mark Brest Van Kempen                            

Column of Earth and Air


While a SFAI graduate student, Mark Brest Van Kempen (MFA, 1991) won a national public art competition for his art installation honoring the 1964 Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley.  Brest Van Kempen’s piece, placed in UC’s Sproul Plaza, titled, Column of Earth and Air consists of a “six-inch column of land and airspace”--a “circle of soil on campus declared an independent nation,” extending from the center of the earth to 60,000 feet into the atmosphere.  The granite ring surrounding this invisible column is inscribed:  “This soil and the airspace above it shall not be a part of any nation and shall not be subject to any entity’s jurisdiction.” 


With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.



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