Lisa Moren, Neja Tomšič, Martin Bricelj Baraga, Jaimes Mayhew: NONUMENT 01:: McKeldin Fountain

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Artist Statement:

    NONUMENT 01:: McKeldin Fountain is Baltimore’s virtual monument located in the Inner Harbor and free speech zone.

    In opposition to bronze and stone, the nonument or “no monument” recreates the destroyed Brutalist-style monument the City of Baltimore and private partners tore down in January 2017. installs new and emerging media forms in order to capture the transitory significance of everyday experiences. We seek to honor hidden urban spaces that carry symbolic value for ordinary people.

    By using this app, anyone can put back the fountain and experience first-hand memories from ordinary activities, art events and protests, including uprisings following the death of Freddie Gray, Peace Vigils, LGBTQ issues and Occupy Baltimore.

    When viewers hold up a mobile device like a protest sign, the participant will put back the fountain with 18 animated waterfalls including an infamous double waterfall. Viewers will see and hear documented interviews that includes a diversity of Baltimore voices from a former Mayor and ACLU lawyer to rappers, teachers and protestors, including the Women In Black who stood for peace at the site every Friday since December 2001. “Whisper Chambers” inside the fountain offer underrepresented voices in Baltimore City that are often unheard but significant to the vibrant life of any urban environment.

    The story of McKeldin Fountain is part of the escalating privatization of public spaces worldwide, a trend that continues to diminish access to full participation and free speech for ordinary people in everyday urban life. This socially engaged intervention is an ambitious take on the latest AR technology in order to address the politics of reclaiming public space including: how public behavior is controlled by a variety of mechanisms? and, who has more exclusive access to what spaces?

    This augmented reality public art project is free to download to your phone.




NONUMENT 01::McKeldin Fountain from ACM SIGGRAPH on Vimeo.