The Gordian Knot (Sculpture)

In 333 BC, wintering at Gordian, Phrygia (in present-day Turkey), Alexander the Great attempted to untie the Gordian Knot. A legend claimed that whoever untangled the knot would rule Asia. But finding no end to the knot, or a way to untie it, he sliced it in half with his sword. Alexander went on to conquer Asia and the term “cutting the Gordian Knot” became a metaphor for an intractable problem solved by a bold stroke.

In June 2008, the Douglas Kornfeld sculpture called The Gordian Knot was unveiled south of the Center for Technology and Learning Media (CTLM) on the Colorado School of Mines campus in Golden. The CTLM building is the home for campus Computing, Communications, and Information Technologies (CCIT).

The artist felt that the metaphor of the Gordian Knot was an ideal theme for an artwork that would relate to the engineering students and faculty of Mines.

Douglas Kornfeld was born in Denver and now resides in Washington, D.C. He has been commissioned to create public art in numerous locations. The Gordian Knot was commissioned by the State Public Art Program, Colorado Council on the Arts. Fabricated in Denver by JunoWorks from over 300 feet of stainless-steel pipe, it is like the original Gordian Knot — without beginning or end.

Here’s how it was made:

The Gordian Knot from space.