The Vessel of Peace rises from the 38th parallel. The Vessel opens to the skies above. It listens and emits sounds when touched. From the inside, the Vessel creates a horizon and makes visible the ever-changing light and weather of the Earth’s cosmic atmosphere. Below, at the bottom of the Vessel, the water table acts as a mirror, reflecting observers, and overlapping with the reflected cosmic magic above. The mist and rainwater of seasons and winds collect in the table, overflowing at times seawards through the valleys. The Vessel was engineered with Eugen Schuler of gbd, Austria.
The poem on the Vessel of Peace by Don Mee Choi, a poet and translator, is a version of “Sky Similes” from DMZ Colony, inspired by the snow geese the poet unexpectedly saw migrating in the skies above St. Louis, Missouri, US (38.648056 north). The birds pointed the poet back to the DMZ of Korea, which is also home to many migratory birds. The poem draws upon poet Kim Hyesoon’s idea in Autobiography of Death (New Directions, 2018): It may be that women’s or death’s song is sung only in vowels, without the consonants. “Sky Similes” utilizes the language of vowels, birds, and vertigo. Don Mee Choi has received a National Book Award, Whiting Award, Lannan Literary Fellowship, and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Fellowship. She lives in the US.
urban topology, Korea, a collaborative design and research group exploring challenges and opportunities in art, architecture, and urbanism, founded by Hyun Jun Kim and Taeyoung Kim provided project initiative and coordination for the Vessel.