Features

Lisa Moren Launches NONUMENT01
Saturday, May 19th, 2018 // 1 - 4 PM
101 E. Pratt St | Baltimore | MD

Living Memory: Public Art Project Recreates Demolished McKeldin Fountain in Augmented Reality App

NONUMENT 01 app will launch during demonstration at McKeldin Square
May 19th
1 - 4 PM

A new public art project called NONUMENT 01::McKeldin Fountain launching this weekend will create Baltimore's first virtual monument using augmented reality technology, allowing users to experience and explore the former McKeldin Fountain that was demolished in 2016. An event on May 19th at its original site, McKeldin Square, will serve as the app's official release, and serve to protest the fountain's demolition and the circumstances that led to it.

Created by Baltimore artists Lisa Moren and James Mayhew and Slovenian artists Martin Bricelj Baraga and Neja Tomsic, the NONUMENT 01 app projects a full-scale 3D image of McKeldin Fountain on to a tablet or smartphone screen, giving the illusion that the fountain is present in the surrounding environment. The artist team worked with Port Covington startup Balti-Virtual to develop the AR app. The fountain's history is told through various interactive memory artifacts, such as koi fish and protest signs, which when clicked will show interviews with Baltimore residents sharing their memories of events at McKeldin Square. The AR app project can be downloaded for free and used anywhere in the world, but the effect is best realized when used on McKeldin Square where the foutain once stood.

In addition to functioning as a public art project and historical record, the NONUMENT 01 app is also a new form of technological protest, and will serve to draw attention to the increasing influence of private entities on public spaces across the world, which the NONUMENT 01 artists feel is detrimental to citizen's ability to express their First Amendment rights through demonstration. McKeldin Fountain was declared a Free Speech Zone for safe public protest in 2013, and because McKeldin Square still holds that designation, the artists have included free speech tools in the app.

It was a place where ordinary citizens could express themselves creatively, relax or stand up for their values, said Lisa Moren, director and artist for the NONUMENT 01 project. The story of its destruction, that included little public input, points to the diminishment of public spaces world-wide. Therefore, in terms of public art, quality of life and free speech, we feel a loss for the residents of Baltimore.

The May 19th event will call on invested Baltimore residents to gather and activate the NONUMENT 01 app collectively and explore the virtual monument, effectively recreating it through technology and memory, and sending a strong message about Baltimore's desire to preserve architecture like it in the future. Attendees will enjoy entertainment from other local artists such as rapper DDm and Baltimore Hoop Love, as well as demonstrations from Balti-Virtual and free speech education from the National Lawyer's Guild.

Following the event at McKeldin Square, participants are invited to move to the 5th Floor Maryland Art Place on Saratoga St. for an exhibit featuring video installations of content used in the app and mixed reality media. For more information, visit www.nonument01.org

About NONUMENT 01

Breaking from traditional medium of bronze and stone, NONUMENT 01::McKeldin Fountain celebrates the fleeting experiences of everyday heroes through virtual monuments as the first in a series of NONUMENT projects, followed by NONUMENT 02, 03, etc. An international research project curated from the Museum of Transitory Art [MoTA] in Ljubljana, Slovenia, NONUMENT addresses memory in public spaces that are of symbolic value to citizens. It consists of artistic productions and research aimed at defining the role of monuments today and the ways in which societies mark important landmarks in contemporary urban life. The NONUMENT 01 app is funded by the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fellow at Johns Hopkins University Film + Media Program, as well as The Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts, The Grit Fund [Contemporary Museum], Imaging Research Center and CAHSS at UMBC. For more information on the NONUMENT series, visit nonument.org

CREDITS

Lisa Moren, Director and Co-Production; Jaimes Mayhew, Co-Production; Martin Bricelj Baraga and Neja Tomsic, NONUMENT founders; along with programming and development team Balti-Virtual. Music by Erik Spangler with Whisper Chambers by JMoney fur and Guided Audio Tour and Finale engineered by Timothy Nohe, interview audio engineering by Lexie Mountain; 3D models by Ben Shaffer and Ryan Zuber, IRC at UMBC.