Future Monuments is a nonlinear, nonfiction cinematic installation and musical performance. Combining documentary material with 3D digital animation, immersive media technologies, and an original musical score created by an emerging Black composer, the project utilizes the unique affordances of the Cube theater at Virginia Tech. The creative team producing the project have set out to examine monuments, particularly Confederate monuments, as shapers of our culture, values, beliefs, and our social and political behavior.
Issues of race, memorialization, the public memory of slavery, and racial oppression are especially lively, especially important right now. A series of tragic murders of Black Americans have sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and have led to an international reckoning with symbols of racism, slavery, and colonialism, and, in particular, Confederate monuments. Protestors, journalists, academics, students, politicians, and others have debated the relationship between racism and Confederate symbols for decades – a controversy that has now come to a boil. A 2020 Quinnipiac poll shows a significant increase in public support for the removal of Confederate statues from civic spaces (+19% since 2017).i Yet the debates continue, both divisive and constructive.
The team is designing the project to support democratic processes in cities, towns, and neighborhoods by expanding our audience’s thinking with thoughtful narratives about the history and future of Confederate monuments. These narratives will be woven into multi-channel cinematic projections accompanied by the electroacoustic composition to inhabit the Cube.