• The Salem Diamonds, Installation at Gagosian, 2007
  • New York Times, image
  • The Salem Diamonds (Detail), 3,489 crystals. 2006

The Salem Diamonds

The Salem Diamonds is a proposal to transform into diamonds the unclaimed, cremated remains of 3,489 patients confined to the Oregon State Hospital, (formerly Oregon's Hospital for the Insane) from the 1880s to the mid-1970s.

See the cover story from the New York Times printed on March 14, 2005.
Magid presented The Salem Diamonds to the Memorial Committee at the Oregon State Senate in Salem, Oregon on May 8, 2006.

The piece consists of 3,489 Swarovski crystals, to be replaced by diamonds. During the generative period, crystals hold the diamonds' place. As diamonds are created they replace their crystal counterparts. Each will bear an inscription: the patient's file number, as was pressed upon his urn, etched microscopically into its girdle.