Jud Fine
Los Angeles
Spine 1993
Los Angeles Central Library
630 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Thomas Guide page 634, grid E4

"Spine," by Venice artist Jud Fine, pays tribute to the role water played in evolution and, consequently, the development of human language.

Located at the Los Angeles Central Library, the piece includes three pools, each draining into the next.

"Each one of the three pools are named: Clear, Bright and Lucid; words often used to describe air, water and intelligence, three entities that define human existence," Fine said of the project.

A series of four steps traces the evolution of language from archaic to writing, print and, finally, the post-literate period. Off to the side is a grotto inscribed with the 14th amendment, the one that granted all citizens citizenship, with an arch above that holds the Frederick Douglas quote: "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will."

"That's really the nature of a free public library," Fine said. "Through it, new voices, new minds and new people can be franchised. But, it's water that is carrying the content; without it, none would exist."