spectacular mnemonicon

If they could speak, Manhattan’s scattered statues might contend: “now that we can flatter ourselves to have acquired among this rabble the most revolting celebrity, we are going to become still more inaccessible, still more clandestine.” Increasingly removed from the life of the past by our spectacular culture’s acceleration of time, we cannot read these artworks the way Notre Dame’s artists knew their contemporaries could decipher the figurative symbols ranging its façade. Are we deaf to Antiquity’s everyday Mythologies, when the demos sentenced to death by drowning Daedelus’s portrayal of the boxer Theogenes for willfully murdering the drunken citizen upon whom it fell? Cloaked in reason, we deride the executioners’ ignorance, misapprehending what merely bodes “the crowd making its will known.”

Spectacular Mnemonicon opens a reviewing space for hierarchic time’s statuary, a lexicon expanding psychogeography’s borderless, polyrhythmic mosaic. Superimposing perspectives contrived from classical democracy’s paradigmatic civil service lottery, these entries proscribe a future archaeology of memorial art—revolution’s critical fictions. Plumbing pockmarked records for uncommon alliances and lofty enmities to redact with site-specific interventions, these texts (audio, video, images) survey Manhattan’s memorial sculptures as a distributive, networked archive of collective production; “archival since it not only draws on informal archives but produces them as well, and does so in a way that underscores the nature of all archival materials as found yet constructed, factual yet fictive, public yet private... a matrix of citation and juxtaposition… a complex of texts and objects… to ramify like a weed or a rhizome.”


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