Saturday, April 05, 2008

Maya Lin's last memorial is a piece of activist art.

Maya Lin, the architect of the highly influential Vietnam Veterans Memorial is producing only one more memorial during her career. This time it'll be to the growing number of endangered and extinct species with the purpose of educating and motivating the public to take action:

Lin would like her new memorial to have global reach. She wants to use the Internet, interactive media and a book to tell people specific steps they can take to spare the environment, like avoiding plastic bags, insisting on shade-grown coffee or joining a program to "adopt" an endangered species and help protect it. She wants to unveil donated corporate billboards in locations such as Times Square, with 20-minute videos with images of endangered species and places.

Does this mean she is crossing the line from artist to advocate?

Lin paused for a thoughtful moment. As a child, the burning of toxic contaminants on Lake Erie did spur her to environmental activism. She petitioned the Kroger Co., owner of Ralphs and Food4Less, to ban animal traps and advocated for Greenpeace.

"I've always said I present history. I don't dictate what people think," she began carefully. "I don't try to preach. This one, like the others, makes you aware of it: 'Did you know the sound of the songbirds, as we knew it when we were little, are gone?' But yeah," she added with a shrug, "Definitely, I will be giving groups and people things they can do in their everyday lives."

While I believe that most of Maya Lin's work is activist media in the way challenges the public's normal engagement with memorials; her reshaping of the memorial landscape into spaces of activist art will be very overt in this memorial. I'm anxious to see it come fruition and what sort of new media applications she'll be using.

Read more at the LA Times.

PS. This really just makes me justified in what I'm studying - Hopefully one day I'll be able to incorporate Lin's final memorial into an extended essay on how the public used networked on-line spaces to memorialize and as activist media and how the memorial institutions have incorporated this behavior. Exciting!


Anonymous said...

Totally awesome stuff. I'm surprised we didn't talk about memorials and memorialization when I visited Josh. Maybe later and definitely another time.

Vince (Josh's friend from IL)

dan said...

I read about Maya Lin's new project in the LA Times, too, great story
and a great project. Honoring extinct species in a commemorative list
will help raise conciousness worldwide about what humans are doing to
this Earth we call home.

Her project sparked in an idea in my imagination, too, and I have
embarked on a global roll call project to compile the names of all 6.7
billion people on the Earth at this present time, list the names on a
blog in cyperspcae, with the assistance of a team of volunteers all
over the world, and use this list of names of humans, all of us, as
another wake up call about global warming and climate change. See news
here. Ms Lin's project is newsworthy and very important and I am sure
it will be successful. With lots of sponsors and funding. Nice. An
important wake up call.

My project, here, sixbillion101 will not have any
sponsors or funding, other than my own time and dime, but that's okay.
I don't need money.

I do hope the news media takes note of my quixotic "global roll call"
too one day, to help raise the alarm about the future of the human
species. If we don't get climate change and global warming under
control, we might end up living in polar cities in northern regions,
which by then will be warm and ice-free. Google "polar cities" to see
more on this.



Climate change website to list names of all 6.6 billion people on Earth

Thursday, April 10, 2008
Website to list 6.6 billion Earthlings in "global roll call"


for immediate release anytime
after April 15, 2008

Contact: Danny Bloom

Virtual 'global warming' museum to host new side-exhibit listing names
of all 6.6 billion inhabitants of Earth, country by country, as
commemorative time capsule

Volunteers needed to help compile list

It's a global roll call.

Danny Bloom wants names. Lots of names. In fact, he wants the names of
all human beings alive at the present time on planet Earth as part of
a public perfomrance art exhibit compiling a commemorative list of all
6.67 billion names -- what the climate activist blogger calls a
"global roll call" to wake people up about the dangers we are facing
in the future regarind global warming.

By compiling the list of all 6.6 billion inhabitants of Earth, Bloom
said he hopes "to highlight the fact that the issues of global warming
do not involve rich nations competing against poor nations, or
rightwing pundits against environmental activists, but rather the fact
that we are all involved in the future we are creating together, in
this day and age."

To send in your own individual name or a list of family members
and friends to the online virtual museum, Internet users are invited to send an
email to: Those who do not wish to be
included in the list may opt out by stating so in writing.

saratoga said...

Dan, what an interesting project! I'll definitely be contacting you when academia slows down a bit for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for note, and yes, do contact me later when academia slows down. you have my email address: if you lost it, it's danbloom (GMAIL)......