Peirce Geodetic Monument

TITLE: Peirce Geodetic Monument
DATE: 1987
MATERIALS: black granite, bronze
DIMENSIONS: 3′ x 1.5′
TYPE: sculpture

Have you ever heard of Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced “purse”)? He was one of the most dynamic American thinkers of all time, making significant contributions to philosophy, logic, math, and science.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, together with the U.S. National Geodetic Survey, donated and installed this sculpture at IUPUI in honor of the university’s Peirce Edition Project, an ongoing effort to publish Peirce’s personal manuscripts. Apart from memorializing Pierce’s contribution to art and science, the monument marks the precise latitude, longitude, and altitude of its location.

In a world full of smart phones linked to satellites, how have our understandings of space and place changed? What does it mean that fewer and fewer scholars follow Pierce’s lead working in both the sciences and the humanities?

To learn more about this artwork, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peirce_Geodetic_Monument, which includes information created by Herron School of Art and Design and IUPUI Museum Studies faculty and students in 2009 as part of “A Survey of IUPUI Public Art.”