I Gave 50 Cents Project | Summer 2010
Collaborators: Jenna Michieli, Casey Kent
War is a measurement of time. It defines eras, paradigm shifts, and lives. Look in any high school text book and you will see the chapters are defined over conflicts; the crusades, the american revolution, WWI, WWII, and Vietnam, the middle east conflict. This measurement of time shows to use how the world was changing in terms of social/polictical, technological, and geographical transitions. When war is looked at in the contexts of history many of the personal stories in time become so condensed a white noise is produced, and while the stories still remain they become easier to tune out and carry on with the everyday. The goal of our proposal is to keep the stories of the individual alive; to celebrate their time in history of there sacrifice.
We are proposing to help facilitate tell the story of each fallen hero through the use of time and place. This will be done through the movement of time through light. A tree’s shadow will lay over each plaque everyday expressing the relationship of the soldier’s state to the individual soldier; the state protecting and raising the child, in return the solider protecting their state, and finally the states sorrow in burying its child. The solar cycle will act as a time-line in which each plaque will be placed. This act will define each soldiers moment within the era allowing their story to help define the times and events surrounding the world at this time. This natural phenomenon will not be solely metaphorically but physical as well; with the shadow of the state tree shorting at mid-day and the number of plaques increasing due to the peak of the war contained within the reducing area will define the relationship of the casualties associated with that apex. In polarity the morning and afternoon shadows, signifying the start and end of the war respectfully, will have fewer plaques in a greater area allowing for a removal from the landscape.
The site deals with issues of program and journey. The site is arranged to create an experience showing the hardships of war before one enters their final resting place. Upon exiting ones vehicle they are exposed to the hot Texas sun and are placed next to wall radiating heat which one fallows to the area of reflection. Here one is presented with a large unprotected open space where the transition from free emotions to communal respect happens when exposed to the flags and the solider’s prayer written in the stone wall. This space is to be about family and preparing to be exposed to the threshold of the monument grounds. The monument grounds are only excisable by crossing the threshold; a simple yet powerful act of crossing from barren to fertile. This line of demarcation will house the hall of reconginition where views to the monument grounds are visible. This station will act as a beacon both day and night to visitors defining the entering of reverent place.
The monument grounds themselves are a place of wandering and exploration in contrast to the linear movements of other programs. As one wonders from shaded plaque to shaded plaque, in and out of the contemplation wells surrounding every tree, and hearing the crunch of gravel beneath their feet a sense of removal from the landscape and a focus onto the stories of the plaques and there contribution to history. This will bring families, friends, and visitors to a new understanding and respect for our fallen heros.