In response to this call, we are interested in developing a participatory project that expands on the nature of public monuments (their form, placement and symbolism). More precisely, we want to explore the residents’ relations with and understanding of their public space, social context, place in history and visions of public art.
Through a temporary ‘creative-vessel’ (a kind of mobile participatory art studio) deployed in public areas we will collect stories, explore public spaces (squares, courtyards, parks, etc) and prototype versions of a ‘New Monument’ for the city. This process will be collaborative and involve large numbers of participants from local communities. The initial phase of research, experimentation and direct encounters with local residents will allow self-reflection and friendly debates around representation and ownership of the public space through participatory art process.
Then, using sculpting techniques and design tools for rapid prototyping, like 3d printers and scanners, local residents will contribute small scale models visualsing the (con)temporary monument(s) which will reflect the voice, values and even contradictions of our present time. The People’s Monument will become a sculptural intervention placed on the physical and social landscape of the city. First, embodied through a collective space (creative-vessel) for making and re-imaging. Later in the process both physical and virtual, large and tiny, -personalised- monuments will pop up around the city, creating a new circuit of public art that will establish a sense of rediscovery and participatory history. We believe this intervention will help to renew the bond between local residents and their everyday urban environment while celebrating a multiplicity of voices and views around current eco-social issues impacting Slough’s community.
From a public time-capsule or a new site of pilgrimage, to virtual characters and sculptural interventions distributed around the city, the ongoing community exchanges will give life to the People’s Monument collectively. We will document the interactions among participants in a short video documentary and produce a printed and digital map of the new circuit of public art interventions in the city.