Civic Portal (2018)

Civic Portal is an experimental project, supported through the Knight Foundation Prototype Fund for Arts and Technology. Through the process of research and discovery, utilizing augmented reality and drawing on five years of Monument Lab research, the project aims to embed digitally-rendered prototype monuments, and open platforms to respond, revise, and analyze them in public spaces. As we confront the legacies of exclusion and division inscribed in monuments across the country, civic portal is imagined as a tool to re-shape the ways we respond to the public art we have inherited and how we may collectively build the next generation of  monuments. The project’s first phase includes pedagogical projects and exercises with Venturi Labs and students in the School of Design and the School of Engineering in Fall 2018. The second phase in Spring 2019 brings the technology to Newark’s Military Park, where 3 local artists will be commissioned to create digital monuments responding to the site including its long-standing Gutzon Borglum monument, Wars of America (1926). Through Civic Portal, we aim to work toward a shareable platform for cities that eventually encourages public input on new and existing forms of historical monuments that allows users to participate in the design and revision of potential public art and monuments in our cities.

Partners: PennDesign, Venturi Labs, and Penn Libraries

Supported by: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation