Public Art Fund Talks: Sarah Sze and Teju Cole

This exchange between artist Sarah Sze and writer Teju Cole will celebrate Sze’s ambitious site-specific Public Art Fund sculpture Shorter Than The Day, now permanently on view at LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B. Commissioned in 2020 with LaGuardia Gateway Partners, Sze’s work evokes the passage of time through an intricate constellation of photographs. Hundreds of images form a mirage-like sphere that appears to float in midair. Each photograph is a snapshot of the sky above New York City taken over the course of one day. In her conversation, Sze will discuss the process behind this project and, alongside Cole, explore how their artistic practices capture non-linear experiences of time and the urban environment.

Attend in person at The Cooper Union’s Great Hall. Registration is required, and capacity is limited. Seating is first come, first served so please arrive early. Your registration does not guarantee a seat. Doors will close at 6:45pm. 

This event will not be video recorded; audio documentation will be available on this website two weeks after the program. 

Accessibility: Email Gabriela López Dena, Associate Curator of Public Practice, at [email protected] with questions and requests for accessibility. Please send any needs for services or accommodations to support your participation in this program, including ASL interpretations, hearing aids, and simultaneous translation, by April 15.

Banner image:
Sarah Sze, Shorter than the Day, 2020
Powder-coated aluminum and steel
Photo: Nicholas Knight, courtesy of the artist; LaGuardia Gateway Partners; Public Art Fund, NY

About the Speakers

Sarah Sze has developed a distinct visual language that challenges the static nature of art. Widely recognized for expanding the boundaries between sculpture, painting, video, and installation, Sze uses a complex palette of materials, both analog and digital, to question how we mark time and space. Sze’s work ranges from immersive installations that scale architectures to abstract canvases that explore a constantly evolving visual world. Sze represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Her works have been exhibited at and are held in the collections of prominent institutions worldwide, in addition to a number of permanent public works across the US. Sze was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003 and a Radcliffe Fellowship in 2005.

Teju Cole is a novelist, essayist, and photographer. His books include the novels Open City and Tremor, the essay collections Known and Strange Things and Black Paper, and the photobooks Fernweh and Pharmakon. He has been honored with the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, the Windham Campbell Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Previously the photography critic of the New York Times Magazine, he is currently Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard University.

About Public Art Fund Talks

Public Art Fund Talks, organized in collaboration with The Cooper Union, connect compelling contemporary artists to a broad public by establishing a dialogue about artistic practices and public art. The Talks series features internationally renowned artists who offer insights into artmaking and its personal, social, and cultural contexts. The core values of creative expression and democratic access to culture and learning shared by both Public Art Fund and The Cooper Union are embodied in this ongoing collaboration. In the spirit of accessibility to the broadest and most diverse public, the Talks are offered free of charge.


The Great Hall at The Cooper Union 7 East 7th Street New York, NY 10003

Get Directions