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Florida Rushmore

Posted on: Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 18:20 By: jstenner

lorida Rushmore is an experiment in electronic monumentality.  It began as a proposal to construct an electronic version of Mount Rushmore, as a holographic projection, installed at the Devil's Millhopper state park, near Gainesville, Florida.  A version of the description (originally published in a catalog for an art exhibition), is available online.

 Florida Rushmore

It is possible to formulate a specific proposal for the Florida Tourist Commision, based on the principles of Electronic Monumentality. The proposal is based on the following steps of reasoning:

  1. the state desires not only to promote tourism, but to improve it.
  2. monumental practices (including events and celebrations as well as memorials) are magnets attracting tourists to specific sites.
  3. tourism and monuments form a rhizome that in practice "constructs the unconscious" of a culture.
  4. the state issue after 1992 concerns the revision of American national identity in the new post-colonial era of multiculturalism.
  5. solonism (referring to Solon, one of the sages of Classical Greece) names a new style of tourism as theoria, in which the process of cultural invention through tourism becomes self-conscious, reflective, and hence "critical."
  6. critical tourism would allow citizens to participate directly in the continuing invention of "America"as an idea and experience.
  7. conclusion: tourism may be improved by designing a monument that exposes tourists to the experience of solonism.

Our proposal is to build an electronic version (augmented and mixed reality) of Mount Rushmore in Florida, a version that will be in effect a revision and supplement of the original. The theoretical rationale for this choice is based on the psychological function of monuments, known as "mourning." The rhizomatic nature of tourism and monuments is due to the reciprocal relationship between the formation of individual and collective identity. The entry points to the network of American identity are marked by monuments.

Project Initiation:
1989-03-01 00:00:00