The Sociology of Towers

These images come from a story titled “The Sociology of Towers”. Given my interest in visual sociology, I got excited. How can art represent sociological ideas about the constricting tutelage of social institutions and the struggle for social change? Alexandra Kleiman from Artlog has the answer:

From Babel to the Burj Khalifa, towers serve as potent sites of collective memory and symbols of cultural change. The Syrian-born American artist Diana Al-Hadid, now living and working in Brooklyn, creates primarily architectural sculptures that oscillate between rigid modernist construction and slumping ancient forms. Al-Hadid’s works evoke structures from the Roman Coliseum to The Monument to the Third International and the World Trade Center as well as more organic waterfalls and forest flora more recently.

By primarily using rough materials such as plaster, cardboard, fiberglass, wood, and aluminum foil and upending her towers, Al-Hadid subverts the authority these structures normally hold, alluding to the cultural clashes such buildings have come to represent. The artist’s intricate works are a feat of engineering in their own right.

Intriguing. I’ll be on the hunt for more sociological art. Another post on visual sociology coming up.


All images: Diana Al-Hadid (2008) The Tower of Infinite Problems. Source: