Interrogative Design: Animating Monuments

The course will focus on the ways in which designers and artists can help the \”entrenched in the past\” monuments to become enlivened for the living – be relevant, meaningful and critically useful in the present.

In search for an innovative contribution to such a task, the course participants may consider adaptation, invention and development of various kinds of equipment, instruments, implements, and media interface, propose and test architectural/sculptural installations, performative actions, events etc. in their design explorations and experiments.

The word \”monument\” may be understood in many ways: as an unanimated structure, as a person or as a social group that immersed in a melancholic (often post traumatic) condition that remains in a state of \”freezing of the failure situation\” (D.W. Winnicott) or exists as \”the living monument to her or his (or their) own trauma (J. Herman).

Blank facades and blind eyes of lofty civic monuments face the speechless and estranged residents living in their shadows, on their steps and under their feet. Both the city monuments and the city residents seem to be in need to be animated, even re-animated. In this way, the art of animating monuments may include the animation of ourselves as existential and political subjects, the reactualization and critical mobilization of built symbolic structures among which we live, and of developing our more conscious and meaningful relation to them.

This workshop-seminar will be based on development of artistic and design projects supported by readings discussions and reviews as well as a response and input from guest consultants and critics. Media experiments and artistic interventions engaging existing public statues and monuments will be critical part of the course.