Concept

Statuevision is an ongoing interactive public projection performance and digital statue archive that engages citizens in conversations about urban histories by re-contextualizing familiar historical monuments. Statuevision uses the historical statues found within a city as a platform for community storytelling, interactive learning and inspiring engagement with public art. The narrative of each individual figure represented in a monument, as well as the larger community history, is reexamined through the lens of a projector during a public participatory performance. All content gathered and created for the event is a digitally archived and available online for anyone interested.

Statuevision: DC’s Statue Collection

Alberto Santos-Dumont
Armenian Earthquake Victims
Cardinal James Gibbons
Daniel Webster
Dante Alighieri
Daughters of the American Revolution
David G. Farragut
Dewi Saraswati
Edmund Burke
Eleftherios Venizelos
Emiliano Zapata
Francis Asbury
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
Gabriela Mistral
George Henry Thomas
George Meade
George Washington
Giuseppe Verdi
Guglielmo Marconi
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
James Birdseye McPherson
James Buchanan
Jean de Rochambeau
Joan of Arc
John A. Logan
John Marshall
John Pershing
Jose Artigas
Joseph Henry
Louis Daguerre
Martin Luther
Michelangelo Buonarroti
Mohandas Gandhi
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Pablo Neruda
Philip Jaisohn
Philip Sheridan
Robert Emmet
Romulo Gallegos
Saint Jerome
Samuel Gompers
Samuel Hahnemann
Teresa de la Parra
The Lone Sailor
Victims of Communism
William Blackstone

Projection Carts

Statuevision was able to augment the experience of Dupont Circle with large-scale animated projections because all systems involved were designed to be portable. Six performers had their own carts, each equipped with:

  • Top Lighting: 12V incandescent overhead lighting with hand-made lampshade,
  • Projector: Dell HD700 3000 Lumin Projector,
  • Laptop: Macbook or Macbook Pro,
  • Statue Cards: Custom designed/printed “baseball card” format informational aids,
  • Side Panels: Lasercut 0.006″ polystyrene with Statuevision logo,
  • Battery: LiFO4 100 Amp Hour,
  • Inverter: 1000 Watt,
  • Speaker: Mackie amplified 150 Watt public announcement system,
  • Bottom Lighting: RGBWW remote-controllable strip lighting

An adjustable, incandescent lamp above each cart provided the student speakers with a spotlight as they spoke about the projections. The Projector remained firmly mounted to the cart with a Magic Arm and clamp. The lighting, projector, speaker and computer received power from a battery fastened to the inside of the cart that remained hidden by white paneling, bearing the branded Statuevision name and logo. The bottom of each cart glowed with white light as the students spoke, and red light when the students transitioned from one cart to another, because of RGBWW controllable strip lighting lining the base. These carts were designed and assembled specially for the Stautevision project.

Statuevision DC Team

Ali Momeni, lead artist and faculty at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art, conceptualized Statuevision, designed and implemented the necessary hardware and software for realizing the work, and formed a team of research assistants from Carnegie Mellon to assist in the creation and performance of the work.

The Washington DC iteration of this project was realized through collaboration among several institutions and individuals:

The participating research assistants contributed to the following components of the work:
Performers:
− Claire Hentschker
− Priya Ganadas
− Miles Peyton
− Daniel Pills
− Kaitlin Schaer
− Lauren Valley
3D Modeling:
− Rob Hacket (external to Carnegie Mellon)
− Claire Hentschker
− Lauren Valley
Social and Learning Media Design
− Claire Hentschker

Capitol Hill Montessori

Statuevision explores learning through creative engagement with public history. By working with the community, Statuevision is able to bring together a cross-generational audience for the creative retelling of DC’s history through the eyes of school children as mediated by animated projections.

Not only was Statuevision DC a public performance, it also became a learning platform on three levels.

1) The Statuevision team worked with teachers at Capitol Hill Montessori to fabricate materials that were used for teaching students about the history of DC through the figures represented in the statues and monuments that the children see every day.
2) On the night of the performance, the school children taught passersby about the statues they had learned about, and in turn, continued learning through their interaction with the audience, who shared information about the statues they too had come to know.
3) Trading cards and individual Facebook pages were created for each statute, containing all media content and historical information collected by Statuevision. This collateral material became publicly available online for any students interested in learning about the monuments, or teachers hoping to share Statuevision resources with their classes.

Learning History

A creative collaboration with Capitol Hill Montessori led to the involvement of young students in the Statuevision performance, and the creation of situated learning platforms for educators and students to use in teaching the history of icons represented in DC’s monuments, through Statuevision’s archived material.

The format for the teaching materials went through several iterations, with the help of the faculty at Capital Hill Montessori, in an effort to find the most effective method for engaging the students. In the end, each student received a pack of Statuevision trading cards: fifty 2 x 3 inch colorful cards with an image of the statue on the front, and “stats” about the statue on the back, available online below. Facebook Pages were also created for older students to explore more in-depth material about each historical figure.

Cards

Facebook Pages