As Will Rogers has fondly quipped, Fort Worth is the place where “the West begins.” Thus, according to poet Arthur Chapman, it is also a place where “the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter.” Such a city displays many layers of geopolitical and sociocultural values, serving as a palimpsest of individual and collective memories. The public artwork that Refik Anadol Studio is designing for the Pioneer Tower aims to celebrate the people, places, histories, and dreams of the city that have been woven together through interpersonal and social interactions over the years. In order to create a piece that represents these hidden stories, we will collect archival data from key libraries, museums, and institutions of the city.
Acknowledging that our memories are strongly linked to spaces, the piece focuses on physical environments and key buildings, which hold emotional significance for many. Upon collecting memory-data about these locations from citizens, we will train machine-learning algorithms to process these hidden archives and visualize a new consciousness Fort Worth in the mind of an artificial intelligence.
By projecting a final audio/visual performance onto the façade of the Pioneer Tower, we will create a collective performance and a publicly available journey into this pioneering city’s imagination, memories, and dreams.
As part of this urban-scale interactive public artwork, we are asking citizens of Fort Worth to submit memories that are attached to any location in the city. The responses can be in visual, textual, or both formats as long as they provide us access to the citizens’ experiences of/in the city.
These memory drops will then be anonymized by our data scientists and contribute to a vast pool of data that the machine mind will process as the city’s collective memory. The final work will invite the audience to experience a new form of belonging to the spectacle of urban history in a uniquely individual way.
Pioneer Tower Dreams is an original artwork commissioned by the City of Fort Worth, Texas. For more information about the Pioneer Tower Iconic Public Art Project and the upcoming premier event please visit the Fort Worth Public Art website (https://www.fwpublicart.org ).
Fort Worth Public Art
c/o Arts Council of Fort Worth
1300 Gendy Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107