Monument Public Address System
Monument Public Address System is a mobile augmented reality (AR) app that superimposes audio and visual narratives of justice, liberation, and inclusion onto existing Confederate monuments and sites where monuments have been removed. Issues of race, memorialization and the public memory of slavery, and colonial oppression are especially lively, especially important right now. A series of tragic murders of Black Americans over the last ten years have sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and accelerated international reckoning with histories and symbols of racism, slavery, and colonialism. For decades, experts and lay-people have discussed the possible relationships between systemic racism and Civil War memorials. Now, these debates have come to a boil.
Utilizing the emerging technology of mobile AR, the work critiques colonial and confederate histories memorialized through public art as part of 600 years of political structures responsible for genocide, enslavement, oppression, disenfranchisement, and imprisonment. In creating Monument Public Address System, our team aims to engender critical and thoughtful social experiences in public spaces through the presentation of narratives that offer truth and justice-centered perspectives, as well as anti-racist visions for our shared future.
Our AR project-design encourages participants to explore Confederate monuments, and the empty spaces where monuments once stood, as they interact with virtual visual materials and listen to segments of personal histories. These personal histories are edited from longer interviews that we have been conducting with community organizers, students, professors, artists, writers, activists, legislators, city planners, architects, city council members, and a multitude of other citizens. The narratives reveal the struggles, triumphs, and everyday experiences of prejudice, discrimination, and justice that these individuals have experienced placed in relation to the public memorialization of Confederate history.
- Meredith Drum
- Todd Ogle
- Meaghan Dee
- Bryce Burrell
School of Visual Arts