Welcome to Future Memory, a Monument Lab public art and history podcast. Each episode, co-hosts Paul Farber and Li Sumpter explore stories and critical conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments. We speak to artists, activists, and historians on the frontlines, building the next generation of public spaces through stories of social justice and contemporary art. Future Memory spotlights the monumental people, places, and ideas of our time.
Episode 30
A Crack in the Hourglass: An Ongoing COVID-19 Memorial with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Sekou Cooke (Live at the Brooklyn Museum)

For this episode, we take a trip to the Brooklyn Museum with Future Memory co-host Paul Farber where he moderated a program for the popular discussion series Brooklyn Talks. How can we memorialize and visualize the extraordinary loss of life caused by COVID-19? Farber explores this question in a dynamic exchange between Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Sekou Cooke – two powerful practitioners working in separate but intersecting fields. Lozano-Hemmer is a media artist working at the crossroads of architecture and performance art.  Cooke is an architect, researcher, and founding member of the Black Reconstruction Collective. Monument Lab: Future Memory was a part of documentation of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s A Crack in the Hourglass, An Ongoing COVID-19 Memorial – an participatory exhibition and “anti-monument” installation previously on view at the Brooklyn Museum and the inspiration for this public conversation. 

Episode 29
Building a Monument for Dr. Maya Angelou with Lava Thomas

This episode, co-host Paul Farber speaks to multidisciplinary artist Lava Thomas. They catch up about a major project a long time in the making – a monument honoring Dr. Maya Angelou – prolific poet, Civil Rights activist, and American memoirist. The monument is slated for installation outside of San Francisco’s main public library in the near future. Lava’s monumental journey begins with bike tours with her family in Washington D.C. and makes a sharp turn in when she learned monuments had the power to embody ideology and ignite a movement.

Episode 28
Leaving a Future Record Behind with Yolanda Wisher and Trapeta B. Mayson of ConsenSIS

We kickoff a new season of the Monument Lab podcast Future Memory with Yolanda Wisher and Trapeta B. Mayson, two renowned former poet laureates of Philadelphia. Wisher and Mayson are the creators of ConsenSIS, a project that summons “sisterly history” to preserve the past and present literary legacy of Black women and femme poets in Philadelphia. ConsenSIS is a part of Monument Lab’s nationwide Re:Generation project, supported by the Mellon Foundation’s Monuments Project. ​​Co-host Li Sumpter speaks to Wisher and Mayson about ConsenSIS, their upcoming event, The Clearing (inspired by Toni Morrison), and the meaningful historic images and authors that guide their project’s vision.


Episode 27
Monumental “Local Diaspora” in St. Louis with MADAD’s Damon Davis, Mallory Rukhsana Nezam, and De Nichols

MADAD’s Damon Davis, Mallory Rukhsana Nezam, and De Nichols work to reimagine how joy, justice, and interactivity improve public spaces in St. Louis. The group started their collaborations during the making of Mirror Casket, a sculpture, performance, and visual call to action composed in the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014. Mirror Casket is now in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Their new project, Black Memory STL: Division, Displacement, and Local Diaspora, is a multi-year series of public art installations and interventions in partnership with the Brickline Greenway development and the Griot Museum of Black History. MADAD are 2020 Monument Lab Fellows.