Work in Progress: Monuments and the Politics of Commemoration
Mar
26
6:30 PM18:30

Work in Progress: Monuments and the Politics of Commemoration

  • University of Pennsylvania, Meyerson Hall (map)
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Sharon Hayes,  If They Should Ask , installation at Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, 2017. Photo by Steve Weinik

Sharon Hayes, If They Should Ask, installation at Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, 2017. Photo by Steve Weinik

Cities around the U.S. are grappling with controversies related to public art, historical monuments, and other memorials. The panelists for this event bring extensive experience from a variety of cities to this topic.

Paul Farber, Artistic Director, Monument Lab, Lecturer in Fine Arts and Urban Studies
Amy L. Freitag (MSHP'94), Executive Director, J.M. Kaplan Fund
Sharon Hayes, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Monument Lab collaborator
Ken Lum, Professor and Chair of the Department of Fine Arts, Chief Curatorial Advisor, Monument Lab
Aaron Wunsch, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation


Reception to follow.

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Monuments and Memory
Apr
17
5:00 PM17:00

Monuments and Memory

  • Wolf Humanities Center, University of Pennsylvania (map)
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Monuments_Wolf-Humanities.jpg

David Brownlee
Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of 19th-Century European Art, University of Pennsylvania

Ken Lum
Artist and Professor of Fine Arts, Univeristy of Pennsylvania

The role of monuments and their representation of the past as it extends to the present has recently become a site of discussion, engagement, and conflict. Now that Philadelphia has become the first UNESCO World Heritage city, the meaning of monuments—to make, reflect, frame, and hide our city, its history, and its diversity—has become all the more important. How might we reimagine the monument to be more inclusive, more representative, and more meaningful to us all?


David Brownlee is a historian of modern architecture whose interests embrace a wide range of subjects in Europe and America, from the late eighteenth century to the present. Professor Brownlee has won numerous fellowships, and his work has earned three major publication prizes from the Society of Architectural Historians. He is a recipient of the University of Pennsylvania's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

His books include Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture (with David G. De Long,1991, translated into four other languages), Making a Modern Classic: The Architecture of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997), Building America's First University: An Historical and Architectural Guide to the University of Pennsylvania (with George Thomas, 2000), Out of the Ordinary: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates: Architecture, Urbanism, Design (with David De Long and Kathryn Hiesinger, 2001), and The Barnes Foundation: Two Buildings, One Mission (2012).

Ken Lum is a Professor in the School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania. Lum is co-founder and founding editor of Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. He has published extensively; and recently completed an artists’ book project with philosopher Hubert Damisch that was launched with Three Star Press, Paris. He was Project Manager for Okwui Enwezor’s The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945 – 1994 (2001). He was also co-curator of the 7th Sharjah Biennial (2005), and Shanghai Modern: 1919 – 1945 (2005). Lum has exhibited widely, including São Paulo Biennial (1998), Shanghai Biennale (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), the Istanbul Biennial (2007), and the Gwangju Biennale (2008), Moscow Biennial 2011 and the Whitney Biennial 2014.  He has published many essays on art. He has also realized permanent public art commissions for the cities of Vienna, Vancouver, Utrecht, Leiden, St. Moritz, Toronto and St Louis.

Most recently, Lum co-curated Monument Lab, a public art and history initiative based in Philadelphia that invited artists and citizens to re-imagine what an appropriate monument looks like in today’s world. Along with artists, scholars, and students, Lum posed research questions and built prototype monuments in public spaces. Monument Lab produced citywide exhibitions, collaborative installations, scholarly publications, video projects, as well as publicly-sourced creative open datasets. Lum helped contextualize the project through vairous conversations with artists and the public, by sharing his expertise of the art world as both an artist and an educator.


Image: Karyn Olivier, The Battle is Joined, Vernon Park, Monument Lab 2017 (Mike Reali/Mural Arts Philadelphia).

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In Pursuit of the Confederate Truce Flag: Monument Lab Live with Sonya Clark and Paul Farber
Mar
13
6:00 PM18:00

In Pursuit of the Confederate Truce Flag: Monument Lab Live with Sonya Clark and Paul Farber

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Join textile and social practice artist Sonya Clark in a public conversation with Artistic Director/Host Paul Farber for a live recording of the Monument Lab Podcast. Together, they will explore Clark's research informing her upcoming exhibition at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know, on view March 29 – August 4, 2019. In presenting this exhibition, Clark questions: "Why do we know the Confederate Battle Flag instead of the Confederate Truce Flag that marked surrender, brokered peace, and was a promise of reconciliation? What would it mean to the psychology of this nation if the Truce Flag replaced the flag associated with hate and white supremacy?"

Clark investigates the legacy of symbols and challenges the power of propaganda, erasures, and omissions. By making the Truce Flag into a monumental alternative to the infamous Confederate Battle Flag and its pervasive divisiveness, the exhibition instigates a role reversal and aims to correct a historical imbalance. FWM is housed in a former flag factory, a particularly fitting place to ask questions about the symbolic power cloth can hold in the consciousness of our nation. Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know is a timely catalyst for dialogue about the scars of the Confederacy and America's ability to acknowledge and reckon with racial injustice.

The first fifty people to arrive will receive a keepsake from FWM as a memento of this event.

About Sonya Clark

An artist of Afro-Caribbean heritage known for addressing race, culture, class and history in her mixed-media works, Sonya Clark draws on everyday materials to investigate how we assign meaning to objects reflecting our personal and collective attitudes: “I was born in Washington, DC to a psychiatrist from Trinidad and a nurse from Jamaica. I gained an appreciation for craft and the value of the handmade primarily from my maternal grandmother who was a professional tailor. Many of my family members taught me the value of a well-told story and so it is that I value the stories held in objects.” Clark has received numerous awards, including the James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Educator Award (2018), Anonymous Was A Woman Award (2016), ArtPrize Juried Grand Prize (co-winner, 2014), Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2010 and 2011), and Pollock Krasner award. Her work has been exhibited in more than 350 museums and galleries throughout the world. For 12 years, Clark served as a professor and chair of the Department of Craft and Material Studies at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. She is currently Professor of Art and the History of Art at Amherst College where she received an honorary doctorate in 2015. Deeply committed to the field of craft, Clark has also served on the board of the American Craft Council (Minneapolis, MN), Textile Museum (Washington, DC), and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Deer Isle, ME). Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know is the culmination of the artist’s two-year residency with The Fabric Workshop and Museum. @sysclark

About The Fabric Workshop and Museum

Founded in 1977, The Fabric Workshop and Museum both makes and presents, encouraging artists to experiment with new materials and new media in a veritable living laboratory. Through its renowned Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program, FWM collaborates with artists to expand their practices, while documenting the course of artistic production from inspiration to realization. Today, FWM is the only US institution devoted to creating work in textile and new media in collaboration with some of the most significant artists of our time. Presenting large scale exhibitions, installations, and performative works, FWM seeks to bring this spirit of artistic investigation and discovery to the wider public. In addition to complete works of art, FWM’s permanent collection also includes material research, samples, and prototypes. Serving as an educational center for Philadelphia’s youth from the outset, FWM remains dedicated to developing programs and opportunities for local students and emerging artists, advancing the role of art as catalyst for innovation and social connection. @FabricWorkshop

About Monument Lab and Paul Farber

Monument Lab is an independent public art and history studio based in Philadelphia. Founded by Paul Farber and Ken Lum, Monument Lab works with artists, students, activists, municipal agencies, and cultural institutions on exploratory approaches to public engagement and collective memory. Monument Lab cultivates and facilitates critical conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments. As a studio and curatorial team, Monument Lab pilots collaborative approaches to unearthing and reinterpreting histories. This includes citywide art exhibitions, site-specific commissions, participatory research initiatives, a national fellows program, a web bulletin and podcast, and more. The goal is to critically engage the public art we have inherited to reimagine public spaces through stories of social justice and equity. In doing so, Monument Lab aims to inform and influence the processes of public art, as well as the permanent collections of cities, museums, libraries, and open data repositories. @Monument_Lab

Paul Farber, PhD is a historian, curator, and educator from Philadelphia. He teaches courses in Fine Arts and Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and also currently serves as the founding curator-in-residence of the New Arts Social Justice Initiative at Rutgers University-Newark. Farber's research explores transnational urban history, cultural memory, and aesthetic approaches to civic engagement. He is the author of A Wall of Our Own: An American History of the Berlin Wall (University of North Carolina Press, 2019). He is also the co-editor of Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia (Temple University Press, 2019) and of a special issue of the journal Criticism on HBO's series, The Wire (2011). He has been invited to lecture and lead workshops at the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Barnes Foundation. He also served as the inaugural Scholar in Residence for Mural Arts Philadelphia. His work on culture has also previously appeared in the Guardian, Museums & Social Issues, Diplomatic History, Art & the Public Sphere, Vibe, and on NPR. @Paul_Farber

Image credit: Sonya Clark, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Woven replica of the Confederate Flag of Truce,2019. Photo credit: Carlos Avendaño.


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Engaging the Moment: Monuments in the Age of Reckoning and Remediation
Feb
28
7:30 PM19:30

Engaging the Moment: Monuments in the Age of Reckoning and Remediation

  • Emory & Henry College, MCA - Kennedy Reedy Theater (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
reynolds lecture 3.jpg

The Richard Joshua Reynolds Lectureship in the Humanities was established in 1962 through the generosity of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The lectureship presents scholars and artists who have distinguished themselves in the humanities. This year, The Richard Joshua Reynolds Lecturer is Paul M. Farber, Artistic Director of Monument Lab and lecturer of Fine arts and Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

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MONUMENTS OF THE FUTURE — ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES
Feb
6
6:30 PM18:30

MONUMENTS OF THE FUTURE — ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES

  • Martin Segal Theatre, CUNY Graduate Center (map)
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momuments-of-the-future.jpg

Looking for solutions to the dilemma of how to confront and constructively dress difficult places of memory or their absence? This panel and discussion will offer physical and virtual alternatives that use a variety of media to promote public dialogue about how and what we remember.

Kubi Ackerman - Director of the “Future City Lab” at the Museum of the City of New York

Marisa Williamson - Artist and creator of “Sweet Chariot: The long Journey to Freedom Through Time”

Ken Lum - Co-curator of “Monument Lab: A Public Art and History Project” in Philadelphia

Jill Strauss (Moderator) - Assistant Professor, Borough of Manhattan Community College

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

The series is sponsored by:
American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning
The Gotham Center for New York City History
CUNY Public History Collective

Series is supported with funds from Humanities New York and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Monument Lab Live: “There’s Spirit in Everything”
Feb
4
6:00 PM18:00

Monument Lab Live: “There’s Spirit in Everything”

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Monument Lab Live: “There’s Spirit in Everything”
Join Professors Salamishah Tillet (Rutgers University-Newark) and Grace Sanders Johnson (University of Pennsylvania) in a public conversation with Paul Farber (Monument Lab) for a live recording of the Monument Lab Podcast from Parkway Central Library.

Together, they will discuss haunts of history, living memory, and legacies of critical writing for African Diasporic women. Tillet and Sanders-Johnson will explore the approaches of storytellers, scholars, and artists who put forth efforts to commune, memorialize, organize, and heal across generations. 

This One Book, One Philadelphia event explores themes in the featured 2019 selection, Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward. 

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PROTOTYPES/PROPOSALS
Jan
18
to Mar 16

PROTOTYPES/PROPOSALS

  • Clough-Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College (map)
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Photo: Chip Pankey

Photo: Chip Pankey

PROTOTYPES/PROPOSALS at Rhodes College’s Clough-Hanson Gallery presents prototype monuments from Monument Lab collaborators Kara Crombie, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Jamel Shabazz, and Marisa Williamson. The exhibition also includes living artifacts of the labs, samples of the public proposal process, and the culminating Report to the City.

As we experience this ongoing moment of intensity and uncertainty around public monuments—especially those that symbolize the enduring legacies of racial injustice and intersectional modes of social inequality—we are reminded that we must find new, critical ways to reflect on the monuments we have inherited and imagine future monuments we have yet to build.

Curated by: Paul M. Farber

Partners: Clough-Hanson Gallery and Urban Arts Commission

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Monument Lab: Report to the City
Jan
3
8:00 AM08:00

Monument Lab: Report to the City

Thursday, January 3, 2019
8:00am-9:30am
Center / Architecture + Design, 1218 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA


Speaker
Paul Farber
Ken Lum
Jane Golden

Monument Lab: Report to the City
Monument Lab is a public art and history project based in Philadelphia that comprises a team of curators, artists, scholars and students. Over the last several years, Monument Lab has organized several major public art interventions that asked: What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? The prompt fueled a citywide exhibition in 2017 presented with Mural Arts Philadelphia, featuring the installation of 20 prototype monuments in public squares and neighborhood parks, joined by learning labs staffed by youth research teams. Out of this exhibition, we just released our Report to the City, a reflection on nearly 4,500 public monument proposals gathered at the labs with insights into how public participants imagined new monuments. The key priorities reflected in the proposals: Rethinking common knowledge, craving representation, seeking connection with others, and reflecting on process and power. Hear more about this project and next steps from Monument Lab curators Paul Farber and Ken Lum and Mural Arts Program's Jane Golden.

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University of Pittsburgh – Report to the City: Prototyping Monuments in an Age of Reckoning and Remediation
Nov
28
5:30 PM17:30

University of Pittsburgh – Report to the City: Prototyping Monuments in an Age of Reckoning and Remediation

Speaker
Paul Farber, Artistic Director, Monument Lab

Report to the City: Prototyping Monuments in an Age of Reckoning and Remediation

Monument Lab is a national public art and history project based in Philadelphia that comprises a team of curators, artists, scholars and students. In 2017, Monument Lab teamed with ten municipal agencies including Mural Arts Philadelphia to produce a citywide exhibition organized around a central question: What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? This line of inquiry was aimed at building civic dialogue about place and history as forces for a deeper questioning of what it means to be Philadelphian in a time of renewal and continuing struggle. Over 250,000 people engaged with the exhibition across the city, which featured prototype twenty prototype monuments installed at City Hall, iconic public squares, and neighborhood parks, as imagined by leading public artists focused on themes of social justice and solidarity. Additionally, Monument Lab opened adjacent learning labs at these sites which were operated by teams consisting of local educators, high school fellows, and college students enrolled in a Civic Studio course. Through their efforts, 4,500 speculative public monument proposals were gathered from participants. As an outcome to this exhibition, the research team produced a Report to the City presented to the Mayor and all the city commissioners, shared the proposals as open data set of all of the proposals on OpenDataPhilly, and extend learnings with continued collaborative installations and projects in cities aimed at unearthing the next generation of monuments. Artistic Director and Co-Founder Paul M. Farber shares insights, reflections, and next steps for Monument Lab.

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National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference
Nov
15
3:30 PM15:30

National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference

Speaker
Ken Lum, Chief Curatorial Advisor, Monument Lab

Learning Lab: Monuments, Memorials, and Telling the Full History

This session, which will involve a short presentation followed by discussion, will examine the role of monuments and memorials in telling the full history of the American past. While the discussion surrounding Confederate memorials is important, this session will seek to address monuments and memorials more broadly by examining the challenges to memorializing individuals from underrepresented communities, engaging with examples of memorials and monuments used to change the game, and exploring the role of preservationists in supporting such projects in their communities.

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Report to the City, Alliance of Artists Communities National Conference
Oct
16
3:45 PM15:45

Report to the City, Alliance of Artists Communities National Conference

Speakers
Paul M. Farber, Artistic Director, Monument Lab
Ken Lum, Chief Curatorial Advisor, Monument Lab
Laurie Allen, Research Director, Monument Lab
Michelle Angela Ortiz, Artist

Monument Lab: Report to the City

Monument Lab is a public art and history initiative based in Philadelphia that comprises a team of curators, artists, scholars and students. In 2017, Monument Lab teamed with Mural Arts Philadelphia to produce a citywide exhibition organized around a central question: What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? This line of inquiry was aimed at building civic dialogue about place and history as forces for a deeper questioning of what it means to be Philadelphian in a time of renewal and continuing struggle. Hear from lead curators and artists on creating an engagement strategy that resulted in twenty "prototype" monuments in public spaces, registered over 200,000 in-person engagements, and collected close to 4,500 creative monument proposals from Philadelphians and visitors. Artist Michelle Angela Ortiz will also present her Monument Lab project, Seguimos Caminando (We Keep Walking).

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2018 Summit for New York City: Shaping the City
Oct
9
8:00 AM08:00

2018 Summit for New York City: Shaping the City

  • Saint Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Speakers
Paul M. Farber, Artistic Director, Monument Lab
Ken Lum, Chief Curatorial Advisor, Monument Lab

The MAS Summit for New York City, now in its 9th year, is a signature conference that attracts a diverse audience of policy-makers, industry leaders, and engaged citizens. Through a series of panel discussions, keynote lectures, presentations, and performances, the Summit connects participants in a daylong dialogue about the most important issues affecting New York and other global urban centers.

The 2018 Summit will explore present-day concerns about the issues central to our long history of advocacy. From preserving the character of rapidly changing neighborhoods to examining the future of our public realm in the age of the autonomous vehicle, this year’s Summit tackles the most prominent issues shaping the city. At the center of this discourse is the critical role that the individual plays in the process.

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Report to the City – Release Party
Oct
2
5:30 PM17:30

Report to the City – Release Party

What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? Last year, over 250,000 Philadelphians and visitors engaged this question in a citywide exhibition curated by Monument Lab and produced with Mural Arts Philadelphia. While the exhibition featured twenty prototype artworks, the lab teams collected over 4,500 proposals from public participants and passersby. The proposals offer a stunning, unprecedented glimpse into the historical imagination of Philadelphians.

Now that the research has been transcribed, mapped, and will soon be uploaded to Open Data Philly, the Report to the City offers a reading and reflection on the immense creativity and critical energies by public participants. The Report, compiled by Monument Lab and presented with Mural Arts Philadelphia, offers key findings and visualizations from the data. Mark the public release of the Report to the City by joining us at Slought for a party and free newspaper editions of the Report, along with a virtual reality tour of the 2017 exhibition, refreshments, and a special performance by Monument Lab collaborator Ursula Rucker.

Partners: Mural Arts Philadelphia, Slought

Funding for the 2017 Exhibition:  Lead Monument Lab partners included the City of Philadelphia; Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy; Historic Philadelphia; Independence National Historic Park; Penn Institute for Urban Research; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Price Lab for Digital Humanities; and the University of Pennsylvania.

Major support for Monument Lab projects staged in Philadelphia’s five squares was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

An expanded artist roster and projects at five neighborhood sites was made possible by a significant grant from the William Penn Foundation.

Lead corporate sponsor was Bank of America.

Additional support was provided by Susanna Lachs & Dean Adler, William & Debbie Becker, CLAWS Foundation, Comcast NBCUniversal, Davis Charitable Foundation, Hummingbird Foundation, J2 Design, National Endowment for the Arts, Nick & Dee Adams Charitable Fund, Parkway Corporation, PECO, Relief Communications LLC, Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square, Stacey Spector & Ira Brind, Tiffany Tavarez, Tuttleman Family Foundation, Joe & Renee Zuritsky, and 432 Kickstarter backers. Support for Monument Lab‘s final publication provided by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.

Media partner: WHYY
 

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FRONT International – Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art: An American City – Public Art in the City
Sep
14
4:00 PM16:00

FRONT International – Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art: An American City – Public Art in the City

  • Thwing Center, Case Western Reserve University (map)
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Speakers
Paul M. Farber, Artistic Director, Monument Lab
Ken Lum, Chief Curatorial Advisor, Monument Lab
Melanie Kress, Associate Curator, The Highline, New York
Michelle Grabner, Artistic Director, FRONT International, An American City
Virginia Overton, FRONT artist
John Riepenhoff, FRONT artist

Moderator: Lisa Kurzner, Curator, FRONT International, An American City

A panel on Public Art will bring scholars, artists, curators together to discuss what public art can do, or should do in the urban environment. Cleveland is a city with a spacious built environment that has recently seen great renovation to public areas along the lakefront and city center. Art has and surely will continue to attract interest for in reshaping the urban core. How does the biennial model fit into this? What is the role of the temporary or permanent? Must public art be monumental to be effective? Panelists will include curators of nationally recognized city public art programs, each with specific models and goals. In addition, Michelle Grabner, FRONT Artistic Director, and FRONT artists Virginia Overton and John Riepenhoff will join to represent diverse approaches to the topic of making art in and for the public.

Contributors include two FRONT artists whose work integrates with the urban fabric in different ways and expresses diverse attitudes about the nature of artmaking and cultural practice today. Invited curators of public art programs offer two models; one, the Highline, in which art and programming is tied to specific tract of land. The other, Monument Lab, operates throughout the city of Philadelphia, creating projects with rotating teams of artists, students and curators that stretch the definition of monument beyond physical structures into knowledge-based monuments and shared experiences.

Image: Virginia Overton, Untitled(Black Diamond), 2018. Installation view at University Hospital, FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. July 14-September 30, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Bortolami, New York. Photography by Field Studio.

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Enduring Legacies Of Public Art, Memorials, and Monuments
Jun
14
10:30 AM10:30

Enduring Legacies Of Public Art, Memorials, and Monuments

  • Americans for the Arts Convention Center (map)
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Speakers: 
Caitlin Butler, Chief Strategy Officer, Mural Arts Philadelphia; 
Ken Lum, Chief Curatorial Advisor and Co-Founder of Monument Lab
Yannick Trapman-O’Brien, Lab Manager, Monument Lab
Marisa Williamson, Artist
Corin Wilson, Project Coordinator, Monument Lab

As we experience this moment of intensity and uncertainty around public monuments—especially those that symbolize the enduring legacies of racial injustice and social inequality—we are reminded that we must find new, critical ways to reflect on the monuments we have inherited and imagine future monuments we have yet to build. This discussion about monuments will expand on the conversation coordinated by Mural Arts Philadelphia and Monument Lab.

Image: Monument to New Immigrants, Tania Bruguera. Photo: Maria Moller.

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Community Discussion With Philadelphia’s Monument Lab
Apr
24
6:30 PM18:30

Community Discussion With Philadelphia’s Monument Lab

Speakers: 
Paul M. Farber, Artistic Director, Monument Lab
Ken Lum, Chief Curatorial Advisor, Monument Lab

Taking civic dialogue and imagination as forces for social change, Philadelphia’s Monument Lab asks the question: What is an appropriate monument for our city? Monument Lab, along with Colby faculty and students, will facilitate a community conversation on the role of public art.

This event is part of the “Space for Conversation” series: discussions about public art cohosted with Waterville Creates!

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Converging Landscapes: Monument Lab, Historical Memory, and Prototypes For Public Engagement
Apr
18
3:00 PM15:00

Converging Landscapes: Monument Lab, Historical Memory, and Prototypes For Public Engagement

  • Duke University Road Durham, NC United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Speaker: Paul M. Farber, Artistic Director, Monument Lab

Studies of landscape are at the center of the intersecting fields of fine arts, environmental research, and historical inquiry. Christopher Tilley defines"landscape" as "a holistic term" that frames relationships between living beings and locales, "forming both the medium for, and outcome of, movement and memory." For interdisciplinary arts practitioners in Philadelphia, the landscape is far from a static site, as it conjures such relationships at points of convergence: when the physical and symbolic layers of the city lay bare social dynamics, truths, and opportunities for action. Such a range of landmarks - including monuments, rivers, gardens, public parks, rowhomes, statues, municipal infrastructure, waste streams, the skyline - are indicative of the deep histories of the region itself, as well as the human-activity that traffics upon it. To produce work about and from Philadelphia is to inherit long-standing questions of civic belonging, make sense of shifting demographic and ecological conditions, and to balance aims for striving and coexistence. Paul M. Farber, Artistic Director of Monument Lab and Managing Director of the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities, reflects on landmarks of convergence, and methods and projects that experiment with and seek ideation through public engagement, environmental and civic advocacy, and historical reckoning. Response by Pedro Lasch, Director, Social Practice Lab.

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Civic Studio on Public Place
Mar
19
to Mar 30

Civic Studio on Public Place

  • University of Pennsylvania (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? To reflect on this line of inquiry, Monument Lab – a research team led by Ken Lum and Paul Farber, with collaborators in the School of Arts and Sciences, PennDesign, Penn Libraries, Penn Institute for Urban Research, Price Lab for Digital Humanities, and dozens of other municipal partners across the city – staged a two-month citywide public art and history exhibition with Mural Arts Philadelphia last Fall. Over 200,000 people engaged with the exhibition across the city, which featured prototype monuments at City Hall, iconic public squares, and neighborhood parks, as imagined by leading public artists focused on themes of social justice and solidarity. Additionally, Monument Lab opened adjacent learning labs at these sites which were operated by teams consisting of local educators, high school fellows, and Penn students enrolled in a Netter Center-supported class "Civic Studio course." Through their efforts, close to 5,000 speculative public monument proposals were gathered from participants. As an outcome to this exhibition, the research team will produce a forthcoming Report to the City, share an open data set of all of the proposals on OpenDataPhilly, and extend learnings with continued collaborative installations and projects in cities aimed at unearthing the next generation of monuments.

Philadelphia is a city full of monuments and memorials. Philadelphia is also a city full of monumental histories, many of which are little known, obscured, or simply unacknowledged. These underrepresented histories often exist in tension with officially acknowledged narratives. As a society, through this moment of intensity and uncertainty around public monuments—especially those that symbolize the enduring legacies of racial injustice and social inequality—we are reminded that we must find new, critical ways to reflect on the monuments we have inherited and imagine future monuments we have yet to build.

For the Teach-In, Monument Lab collaborators will present research projects from Penn students in the Civic Studio course, including final projects that offers guidance on the creative and civic impulses of monument making; a first glimpse at the public proposals and data sets collected by students at the labs across the city; a takeaway self-guided tour of the Schuylkill River-as-Monument;  and a special virtual reality tour of the exhibition's prototype monuments produced by Penn Libraries’ PennImmersive

The exhibition will be hosted in the Charles Addams Fine Arts Gallery, and will be open 10:00am-5:00pm each day of the teach-in, with an opening reception on Tuesday, March 20th from 4PM-6PM. 

Partners: Penn Fine Arts, PennDesign, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, Penn Libraries, Netter Center, Penn Institute for Urban Research, and Price Lab for Digital Humanities

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Brown University, Lecture – Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Public Art and History
Jan
30
12:00 PM12:00

Brown University, Lecture – Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Public Art and History

  • John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS


Mel Chin, Two Me, Monument Lab 2017 (Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Philadelphia)

Mel Chin, Two Me, Monument Lab 2017 (Steve Weinik/Mural Arts Philadelphia)

Speaker: Paul M. Farber, Monument Lab Artistic Director

What is an appropriate monument for a current American city? To reflect on this line of inquiry, Monument Lab – a team of scholars, artists, students, and researchers – staged a two-month citywide exhibition in Philadelphia this fall. Situated in the midst of a massive public reckoning with monuments sweeping the U.S., the exhibition included prototype monuments by twenty artists including Mel Chin, Tania Bruguera, and Hank Willis Thomas, whose works dealt with issues of social justice and solidarity; in addition, Monument Lab's research team opened ten adjacent learning labs in public squares and neighborhood parks throughout the city, operated by teams of high school and college students who gathered thousands of speculative public proposals from participants. The end result includes a Report to the City, an open data set, and continued collaborative installations and projects.  

Paul M. Farber, Monument Lab Artistic Director and Co-Founder, will discuss the outcomes of this stage of the project – and reflect on next steps for this project's artistic, environmental, and civic aims.

Lunch at 11:50am.

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Monument Lab at the Barnes: Research Debrief & Closing Office Hours
Dec
3
1:00 PM13:00

Monument Lab at the Barnes: Research Debrief & Closing Office Hours

On Sunday, November 19th and Sunday, December 3rd from 1PM-5PM, the Monument Lab Curatorial Team will host a set of research debrief working sessions and closing office hours. The lab staff and data team will discuss initial research highlights, and invite visitors to ask questions about their preliminary findings. Lab staff will reflect upon their experiences working in the field while collecting monument proposals and engaging with the public, as the data team begins to transition toward a deeper process of transcription and analyses.  

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Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker: Logan Squared
Nov
19
2:00 PM14:00

Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker: Logan Squared

Starting September 24, Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker's Logan Squared sound installation will be on view on Sundays from 2–4:30 p.m. at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central location. Part of the citywide Monument Lab exhibition, Logan Squared is a sound monument to public voice and collective memory. Ogboh’s work incorporates Rucker's poetry and choral music, braiding sounds together for an immersive experience. FREE.

Logan Squared: Ode to Philly

Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker

Born in 1977 • Nigerian • Based in Berlin/Lagos

As a monument to Philadelphians’ voices and visions, Emeka Ogboh’s Logan Squared: Ode to Philly features a collaboration with beloved Philadelphia poet Ursula Rucker, members of the Chestnut Street Singers, and hundreds of Philadelphians whose ideas were documented during Monument Lab’s discovery phase. Throughout his work, Ogboh creates soundscapes to honor and understand cities. For Monument Lab, Ogboh conceived of a collaboration to channel public participation and reflection. Responding to the Monument Lab open dataset, Rucker composed an epic poem serving as the backbone of this composition. Visitors may access the sound monument at listening stations around the square where they can plug in their headphones to access the composition, or attend a special weekly multichannel sound installation on the Skyline Terrace of the Parkway Central Library. In the rooftop version, attendees are invited to experience a multichannel sound installation, including the sounds of Rucker’s poem and a special choral arrangement of Louis Gesensway’s Four Squares of Philadelphia: “Logan Square at Dusk,” as well a singular view of Logan Square.

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Monument Lab at the Barnes: Research Debrief & Closing Office Hours
Nov
19
1:00 PM13:00

Monument Lab at the Barnes: Research Debrief & Closing Office Hours

On Sunday, November 19th and Sunday, December 3rd from 1PM-5PM, the Monument Lab Curatorial Team will host a set of research debrief working sessions and closing office hours. The lab staff and data team will discuss initial research highlights, and invite visitors to ask questions about their preliminary findings. Lab staff will reflect upon their experiences working in the field while collecting monument proposals and engaging with the public, as the data team begins to transition toward a deeper process of transcription and analyses.  

 

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Monument Lab Keynote: The Futures of Memory
Nov
15
6:00 PM18:00

Monument Lab Keynote: The Futures of Memory

  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Philadelphia’s most monumental project of 2017 concludes with a keynote conversation between Michael Eric Dyson (professor and author of Tears We Cannot Stop), New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, and scholar/activist/social critic Salamishah Tillet (faculty member at University of Pennsylvania), moderated by Monument Lab co-curator Paul M. Farber. They’ll discuss the overarching themes and questions raised by Monument Lab, as well as the future of memory in public space. $5 / Free for PAFA Members.

$5 / Free for PAFA Members.Seating is limited. Registration required.

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Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker: Logan Squared
Nov
12
2:00 PM14:00

Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker: Logan Squared

Starting September 24, Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker's Logan Squared sound installation will be on view on Sundays from 2–4:30 p.m. at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central location. Part of the citywide Monument Lab exhibition, Logan Squared is a sound monument to public voice and collective memory. Ogboh’s work incorporates Rucker's poetry and choral music, braiding sounds together for an immersive experience. FREE.


Logan Squared: Ode to Philly

Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker

Born in 1977 • Nigerian • Based in Berlin/Lagos

As a monument to Philadelphians’ voices and visions, Emeka Ogboh’s Logan Squared: Ode to Philly features a collaboration with beloved Philadelphia poet Ursula Rucker, members of the Chestnut Street Singers, and hundreds of Philadelphians whose ideas were documented during Monument Lab’s discovery phase. Throughout his work, Ogboh creates soundscapes to honor and understand cities. For Monument Lab, Ogboh conceived of a collaboration to channel public participation and reflection. Responding to the Monument Lab open dataset, Rucker composed an epic poem serving as the backbone of this composition. Visitors may access the sound monument at listening stations around the square where they can plug in their headphones to access the composition, or attend a special weekly multichannel sound installation on the Skyline Terrace of the Parkway Central Library. In the rooftop version, attendees are invited to experience a multichannel sound installation, including the sounds of Rucker’s poem and a special choral arrangement of Louis Gesensway’s Four Squares of Philadelphia: “Logan Square at Dusk,” as well a singular view of Logan Square.

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Saturday Spotlight: Vernon Park
Nov
11
1:00 PM13:00

Saturday Spotlight: Vernon Park

Mural Arts Philadelphia’s citywide Monument Lab continues with a Saturday Spotlight event at Vernon Park, with music and food from 1–4 p.m. This event will feature Monument Lab artists Jamel Shabazz—holding portrait sessions for his project paying tribute to African American veterans—and Karyn Olivier—currently installing The Battle Is Joined, a mirrored remixing of the Battle of Germantown Memorial. FREE.

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Monumental Exchange – Jamel Shabazz and Special Guest
Nov
8
6:00 PM18:00

Monumental Exchange – Jamel Shabazz and Special Guest

A monumental project is bound to lead to monumental conversations. In this four-part event series, Monument Lab artists join forces for talks about the role of the artist in relation to monument-making, as well as thoughts on meaning, memory, representation, equity, and dialogue in public space. Artists Jamel Shabazz and Mel Chin will take part in a public conversation about the Monument Lab exhibition and their projects, moderated by Annette John-Hall, WHYY reporter for Keystone Crossroads, a statewide public media initiative focused on the problems facing Pennsylvania’s cities and possible solutions. FREE.

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Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker: Logan Squared
Nov
5
2:00 PM14:00

Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker: Logan Squared

Starting September 24, Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker's Logan Squared sound installation will be on view on Sundays from 2–4:30 p.m. at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central location. Part of the citywide Monument Lab exhibition, Logan Squared is a sound monument to public voice and collective memory. Ogboh’s work incorporates Rucker's poetry and choral music, braiding sounds together for an immersive experience. . FREE.


Logan Squared: Ode to Philly

Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker

Born in 1977 • Nigerian • Based in Berlin/Lagos

As a monument to Philadelphians’ voices and visions, Emeka Ogboh’s Logan Squared: Ode to Philly features a collaboration with beloved Philadelphia poet Ursula Rucker, members of the Chestnut Street Singers, and hundreds of Philadelphians whose ideas were documented during Monument Lab’s discovery phase. Throughout his work, Ogboh creates soundscapes to honor and understand cities. For Monument Lab, Ogboh conceived of a collaboration to channel public participation and reflection. Responding to the Monument Lab open dataset, Rucker composed an epic poem serving as the backbone of this composition. Visitors may access the sound monument at listening stations around the square where they can plug in their headphones to access the composition, or attend a special weekly multichannel sound installation on the Skyline Terrace of the Parkway Central Library. In the rooftop version, attendees are invited to experience a multichannel sound installation, including the sounds of Rucker’s poem and a special choral arrangement of Louis Gesensway’s Four Squares of Philadelphia: “Logan Square at Dusk,” as well a singular view of Logan Square.

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Flores de Libertad (Flowers of Freedom) Activations
Nov
5
9:00 AM09:00

Flores de Libertad (Flowers of Freedom) Activations

  • Annenberg Court at the Barnes Foundation (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join artist Michelle Angela Ortiz at the Monument Lab Research Field Office located on the grounds of the Barnes Foundation this Fall for a series of free paper flower workshops, in conjunction with her Seguimos Caminando (We Keep Walking) prototype monument at City Hall. Ortiz is making thousands of paper flowers, a tradition passed down by her maternal grandmother, with messages of freedom for the families detained at the Berks Detention Center, a prison outside of Philadelphia for immigrant families. The flowers created here will be assembled in a creative action at City Hall in late October. Ortiz intends to honor mothers previously or currently unjustly detained at Berks Detention Center along with partners from the Shut Down Berks Coalition. Ortiz will adorn the windows of the Field Office with the flowers to prepare them for City Hall, and then re-stage this creative action in the Barnes Foundation's light filled Annenberg Court on Sunday, November 5.

Workshops in the Field Research Office 
Sunday, Oct.1: 1-4 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 7: 1-4 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 14: 1-4 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 20: 6-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 21: 1-4 p.m.

Activations in The Barnes' Annenberg Court 
Monday, Oct. 23: 12:30-3 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 5: 9-11:30 a.m.

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Saturday Spotlight: Washington Square
Nov
4
1:00 PM13:00

Saturday Spotlight: Washington Square

Mural Arts Philadelphia’s citywide Monument Lab continues with a Saturday Spotlight event at Washington Square, with music and food from 1–4 p.m. This event will feature Monument Lab artists Kaitlin Pomerantz and Marisa Williamson, whose projects reveal missing or lost Philadelphia stories. Pomerantz’s On the Threshold explores the city’s stoop culture, while Williamson is creating an interactive scavenger hunt app that will lead a narrative about African American history in and around Washington Square. FREE.

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"Seguimos Caminando" (We Keep Walking) Projections
Nov
3
8:00 PM20:00

"Seguimos Caminando" (We Keep Walking) Projections

Throughout her body of work, Michelle Angela Ortiz engages with experiences of immigration in Philadelphia, especially through family stories and intergenerational histories. For Monument Lab, Ortiz’s Seguimos Caminando (We Keep Walking) imagines the gates of City Hall as a space of imaginative projection, juxtaposed with hundreds of sculptures on the building that mark the historic and mythic past of the city. In a series of animated projections held on Wednesday and Friday evenings throughout the exhibition, Ortiz will honor mothers previously or currently unjustly detained at Berks Detention Center, a prison outside of Philadelphia for immigrant families. The animated images in her moving monument originate from compiled writings from two mothers sharing their stories while detained at Berks. Ortiz worked on Seguimos Caminando with the Shut Down Berks Coalition and the mothers detained at Berks, and will organize a creative action with Shut Down Berks during the Monument Lab exhibition.

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Monumental Lab Live #3: Civic Action and Activism
Nov
1
6:00 PM18:00

Monumental Lab Live #3: Civic Action and Activism

  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The third iteration of Monument Lab Live celebrates the history, present, and future of activism in Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy. Monument Labartists will discuss their projects, made in collaboration with local activist and community groups, respectively, in addition to stirring presentations from local and national rising stars in the social justice and activist worlds. Join us for TED-style presentations from Tarek El-Messidi (Founder, Celebrate Mercy, Philadelphia), Reentry Think Tank (Philadelphia), Greg Corbin (Founder and Director, Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement), and Monument Lab artists Michelle Angela Ortiz (with the Shut Down Berks Coalition) and Shira Walinsky (with Southeast by Southeast). $5 / Free for PAFA Members.

$5 / Free for PAFA Members. Seating is limited. Registration required.

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Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker: Logan Squared
Oct
29
2:00 PM14:00

Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker: Logan Squared

Starting September 24, Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker's Logan Squared sound installation will be on view on Sundays from 2–4:30 p.m. at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central location. Part of the citywide Monument Lab exhibition, Logan Squared is a sound monument to public voice and collective memory. Ogboh’s work incorporates Rucker's poetry and choral music, braiding sounds together for an immersive experience. FREE.


Logan Squared: Ode to Philly

Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker

Born in 1977 • Nigerian • Based in Berlin/Lagos

As a monument to Philadelphians’ voices and visions, Emeka Ogboh’s Logan Squared: Ode to Philly features a collaboration with beloved Philadelphia poet Ursula Rucker, members of the Chestnut Street Singers, and hundreds of Philadelphians whose ideas were documented during Monument Lab’s discovery phase. Throughout his work, Ogboh creates soundscapes to honor and understand cities. For Monument Lab, Ogboh conceived of a collaboration to channel public participation and reflection. Responding to the Monument Lab open dataset, Rucker composed an epic poem serving as the backbone of this composition. Visitors may access the sound monument at listening stations around the square where they can plug in their headphones to access the composition, or attend a special weekly multichannel sound installation on the Skyline Terrace of the Parkway Central Library. In the rooftop version, attendees are invited to experience a multichannel sound installation, including the sounds of Rucker’s poem and a special choral arrangement of Louis Gesensway’s Four Squares of Philadelphia: “Logan Square at Dusk,” as well a singular view of Logan Square.

View Event →