“Monument Lab” Reflections

by Grace Pusey

Most of the blog posts that Emma and I wrote during the spring semester spotlighted our research findings, but not necessarily our research methodology or any of the other cool or interesting things we did related to the project. Monica Mercado, who is supervising my continued work on the Black at Bryn Mawr project, suggested I share¬†these sorts of things on the blog as I move the project forward with a grant I secured for the summer. From now on you can find posts like this¬†under the “Methodology” tab in the navigation bar. So far I have been busy giving tours, presenting at conferences, following up on research leads, arranging times to visit archives and historical sites, and reading, reading, reading. I hope sharing my experiences will interest you!

Yesterday I went to City Hall in Philadelphia to check out Monument Lab, a public art and urban research project guided by the question, What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? Every day throughout the month of May and the first week in June, Philadelphians can stop by Monument Lab research pavilion at City Hall to see a series of art installations, partake in public events, enjoy the prototype monument by artist Terry Adkins, or listen to free dialogues led by Philadelphia artists and intellectuals. Visitors can sit at the picnic tables in front of the research pavilion to craft their own proposals for monuments, which are then mapped digitally and displayed online.

Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia. Major support for Monument Lab was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage with partners including Penn Institute for Urban Research, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Haverford College, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PennDesign, the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, and RAIR.

Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia. Major support for Monument Lab was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage with partners including Penn Institute for Urban Research, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Haverford College, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PennDesign, the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, and RAIR.

Monument Lab is an innovative project aimed at engaging people in dialogue about Philadelphia and what about the city matters to them. What about Philadelphia is important to Philadelphians? What is currently invisible that we want to make visible? Why are monuments important, and how do we use them to intervene in spatial narratives — the stories we tell about space? Continue reading