Defining Open Authority

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Posts tagged "Fred Wilson"

2 years ago 2 notes Indianapolis E Pluribus Unum Fred Wilson public art history

Monument Circle Project

I’m so proud of my amazing mentor, Modupe Labode, and brilliant friend Maggie Schmidt for putting together this incredibly smart blog about Monument Circle, inspired by the rise & fall of Fred Wilson’s “E Pluribus Unum” project. Their historical contextualization will go far in preserving the recent community debate alongside the often overlooked dialogue of the past. Great, great job!

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3 years ago 4 notes public art Wikipedia Fred Wilson Indianapolis controversy

Fred Wilson’s E Pluribus Unum Wikipedia article will be on the Wikipedia main page until 7pm ET tonight.

Did You Know…… that local opposition to Fred Wilson's public artwork E Pluribus Unum may cause  sponsors to cancel its installation in Indianapolis?

Of my handful of Did You Know appearances, I am definitely most proud of this one. Maggie & I worked hard to update the article last weekend, we were thankful that Tyler Green gave our work a shout out on his weekend round up on Monday, and now we’re happy that even more will see the article and understand the context of this important artwork while it’s on the Wikipedia main page.

Fred Wilson’s E Pluribus Unum Wikipedia article will be on the Wikipedia main page until 7pm ET tonight.

Did You Know…… that local opposition to Fred Wilson's public artwork E Pluribus Unum may cause sponsors to cancel its installation in Indianapolis?

Of my handful of Did You Know appearances, I am definitely most proud of this one. Maggie & I worked hard to update the article last weekend, we were thankful that Tyler Green gave our work a shout out on his weekend round up on Monday, and now we’re happy that even more will see the article and understand the context of this important artwork while it’s on the Wikipedia main page.

Download high-res photo

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3 years ago 4 notes public art controversy Fred Wilson Indianapolis E Pluribus Unum Wikipedia

Wilson's E Pluribus Unum: New & Improved Wikipedia article

The article before and after.

I can’t deny my interest in the future of E Pluribus Unum. That’s why I’ve dragged my feet for months and have put off updating the Wikipedia article following the extremely heated controversy surrounding its installation. In Wikipedia, neutrality is of the utmost importance, and I just didn’t think I could calm my emotions down long enough to deliver.

When I had the pleasure of meeting Fred Wilson last year, I of course was introduced as the girl who updated his Wikipedia article. This isn’t a lie. I’d updated his bio and also created the stub for E Pluribus Unum, way back when things were still calm and cheery. Then September came… and October. That night at Madame Walker was one of the most eye opening and emotional evenings I’ve experienced, and my peers who were there with me agree.

Luckily I’m surrounded by museum studies grads who have been coerced had the opportunity to learn Wikipedia. When I was asked again about updating the E Pluribus Unum article, I quickly called upon the best of the best - my dear friend Maggie, who just so happens to be a research assistant working on further contextualizing the sculpture, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and issues of race in Indianapolis history.

Thankfully (sigh of relief) she consented, and went straight to updating the article with her abundance of research. We were both still stuck, however, on how to go about the dreaded Controversy heading. But in the end, we did it… (thanks mostly to Tyler Green!) After two intensely collaborative days of Wiki-editing, which turned into an extremely healing, cathartic experience, we completed our task. Please, join us in our sigh of relief.

This is an extremely important artwork that has brought up deep-seated issues in the Indianapolis community. It’s important that all of the information is correctly out there for people to access. This is why we’re so proud to have helped get the article to its present state. (And know that it’s a never ending process, so edit away!) Here’s hoping that we make it onto the Wikipedia main page in the coming weeks and are able to share this artwork’s story with an even wider audience.

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3 years ago Indianapolis Fred Wilson public art

Update: Sculpture controversy on MAN @TylerGreenDC

Tyler Green (of Modern Art Notes) has written two great articles covering the Fred Wilson sculpture controversy here in Indy, including quotes from the recently aired Amos Brown radio show that I previously posted.

I was particularly interested in Fred’s thoughts about public art vs. his work in museums. This has been a question brought up in our museum studies classes since many of us sat through that tumultuous meeting at Madame Walker.

It is true that only the loudest voices were heard that night. That makes a write up such as this even more valuable in getting out the whole story, rational opinions included.

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3 years ago 2 notes fred wilson public art controversy amos brown indianapolis cultural train

Audio: Fred Wilson responds to controversy

It seemed to me that the majority of those calling in were not opposed to the sculpture, which is a positive turn. The level-headed were able to speak their piece.

Some quotes:

"(What about those who say) this dredges up memories that I don’t want to be confronted with?"

Fred Wilson: “You can’t heal a wound unless you open it up and air it out, clean it, and then it can heal properly. Covering over it just makes it fester under the skin. So my desire is to both create a new image with the original in a different way, but also to try to clean it out so that we can move forward.”

"Are you an agent for change in art?"

Fred Wilson: “That is the outcome often, but I don’t go in saying I’m going to make change…. I’m an artist and what I do is go into a given situation without any preconceived notions. I absorb that place and see what happens.”

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3 years ago Fred Wilson public art Wikipedia museums Cultural Trail Indianapolis

My heart hurts...

The Fred Wilson talk tonight at Madame Walker Theatre was the most volatile community dialogue I have ever sat through… if you could call it “dialogue.” I admit that I’m overwhelmed. Living through such anger that’s still so pervasive, what can I, some little white girl, say or do? Feels like nothing. Yet, it’s all our community. And here we are, a whole bunch of little white girls, doing our best to learn how to engage this very community in our future work developing museum programming. It’s quite disheartening. What next?

What’s more, as part of my museum studies program, myself, a friend, and our adviser, Modupe Labode, are documenting the dialogue surrounding this artwork. Our jobs just got a lot more interesting… to say the least. Part of this documentation is the Wikipedia article for the artwork, which I admittedly have not updated with the controversy.. I feel like I can’t remove myself enough to objectively talk about it.

Do watch Indy’s Fox59 (et al.) tonight at 10. I’m interested to see what explosions (ie: blatantly disrespectful outbursts) they highlight (there were many).

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