The Concept

Back in the '80's we had a phrase for practical jokes: 
"Turning the screw", that is turning the screw in someone's 
head enough to make them think "What the hell...?!?!?"

The practical joke was nothing  mean spirited or vicious at 
all, just odd enough to inspire that "What the hell...?!?!?" 
and make people wonder, push their heads "outside the box".

But in May of 1986, the internet was barely more than a bunch 
of bulletin board systems (BBS's) and the World Wide Web was 
still four years away, so there was no "turning the screw" on 
hundreds or thousands of people via YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, 

We'd just have to go with a 
practical joke.


Seeing a fun, strange movie would always stir the creative 
craziness.   To say we were influenced by movie is a stretch, 
but incited to create something different is just about spot 
on.  It might have happened because we had just seen Terry 
Gilliam's insanely fun movie "Brazil", and had just had the 
screws turned in our heads a bit that night.

At any rate, there is a madness to the method of an ARGH 
brainstorming session.  When you have collaborators who are 
tuned to nearly the very same frequency and amplitude ideas 
don't have to come in a straight line.  One of us can come 
up with something that seemed to come completely out of left 
field, but the other will understand and follow the (il)logic 

So when one of us brought up Governors State University's 
sculpture park, it was natural for us to bat around a few 
ideas for additional sculptures - after all, a handful of 
them already made more than a few people wonder "What the 
hell...?!?!?" (Including the pair of us.)

The idea began to crystallize...  A large public sculpture 
park...  What would really happen if they suddenly had one 
more sculpture?  What would they do?  One no one had commissioned?  
One they hadn't bought? Would they notice at all?  



Then Gary suggested a monolith.  No.  The Monolith - as in 
the alien structure from "2001: A Space Odyssey".
2001's Monolith
Simple.  Stark.  Recognizable.