Scanning Memory: Three Case Studies of Memorials in the Digital Age

By Jeremy Kargon and Mohammad Gharipour.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Although the planning of memorials has deep roots, long intertwined with architecture’s, more recent proposals reflect contemporary trends in digital art and net-based social media. The following case studies serve to illustrate what represents a profound change in the definition and design of memorials:

1) 2010 Mount Rushmore Digital Scanning Project
2) MemoryLoops: 175 Audio Tracks on Sites of NS Terror in Munich 1933-1945
3) National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

Despite their differences, these projects demonstrate three themes generally shared by memorials influenced strongly by digital media. The first, “displacement and reintegration,” describes the transition through which certain digital technologies reconfigure object/subject relationships, traditionally space-based, through effects of mediated presence or other digital simulacra. The second, “proliferation of connection,” describes the effect of net-based technologies, social media, and ubiquitous computing. The third theme is “stimulation,” by which digital technologies magnify visual, aural, and even social experiences to engender a memorial’s intended message.

Keywords: Digital Memorial Design, Commemorative Architecture, Memory Discourse, Virtual Community

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.153-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 633.808KB).

Jeremy Kargon

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, School of Architecture of Planning, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Jeremy Kargon is a practicing Architect, with 22 years postgraduate professional experience. Having worked both domestically and abroad, Kargon is especially interested in cultural dimension of an architect’s work and its representation through media. A graduate of Yale and Columbia Universities, Kargon received his first professional license in 1991. Starting in 1994, Kargon worked for the architect Hillel Schocken in Jerusalem, before returning to the United States in 2003. From 2007 Kargon has taught full time in the graduate program at Morgan State University and received his appointment as Assistant Professor in September 2009. Kargon’s written and multimedia projects, including digital video, reflect his orientation towards international and multi-disciplinary interests.

Dr. Mohammad Gharipour

Lecturer, Department of Architecture, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Mohammad Gharipour received his PhD in Architectural Theory and History form GEoriga Institute of Technology in 2008 and Masters of Architecture from the University of Tehran in 2000. He has taught at Southern Polytechnic State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Carolina-Charlotte. He is currently teaching at the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Morgan State University. His areas of research include Japanese contemporary architecture, Islamic architecture, and Persian gardens. As the recipient of Hamad Bin Khalifa Fellowship in Islamic Art in 2007 and Spio Kostof Fellowship Award form the Society of Architectural Historians in 2008, Dr. Gharipour has widely published on history of Islamic architecture an urban design. He is currently completing a book manuscript on pavilions in Persians gardens and editing a book on bazaars in the Islamic world. He is the founder and director of the forthcoming International Journal of Islamic Architecture.

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