Monumental is a book on the process of grief , not only to understand it, but to experience it and to journey with it. It is the accumulation and byproduct of studies on grief and personal stories through blogs and journals, as well as drawing from friends and family's experiences.
The book is composed of five main sections.
with the following, an introduction focused on introspection and setting the question about our cultural significance of creating in commemoration. Followed by a study on the Vietnam Memorial as a shift in communal grieving in America. Moving into a more personal sphere I focus on an individual journal by Steve Slotemaker on his journey with grief. Followed by a widening lens as we look to Stephen Colbert, a great American icon for our generation, and his personal reflections on life, loss, and grief and ending with an extended offer for you to join others before you who have created in response to loss, past present, and future. Let the process be a cathartic experience.
The initial challenge of this piece was to create our own personal project based on classes we had taken throughout our time at the University of Oklahoma that were not related to our major. This project was a way to branch out and explore deeply other areas of study that we had chosen to take for our general education and elective credits.
We were asked to focus on three classes we had taken and weave them together into a single design based project.
I had taken a fairly broad spectrum of classes, but found myself leaning to my history and religious classes that I had taken. I myself being a fairly religious person found the study of religion throughout history and how we as a people have experienced, related to, and dealt with the ideas and foundations of religion fascinated me.
This piece began with a study of what I have learned throughout my time at the University of Oklahoma. We researched our past classes that had no direct interaction with art or design and began creating our own unique projects based on our individual classes and what we held most valuable from our learning experience.
With this in mind we created a map of possible combinations of ideas, applications, audiences, mediums, and the final wholistic combination of the parts. I chose to create a sculpture that housed a book and possibly an interactive web page about monuments.
The introduction is a series of statements and questions regarding our existence and what it means to grieve.
An introspective journal and blog by
Steve Slotemaker on Medium.com on his journey through life after the loss of his wife.
typeset and included for a personal story on the process of grief and mourning.
Life & Process
An interview of Stephen Colbert by GQ Magazine on life, loss, and grief. A beautiful interview about process, and creating in response, out of fury, out of a place of regret, and finally out of gratitude for life and the moments we are allowed to exist within. I find his closing statements on his encounters with tragedy to be poignant and wonderful.
For an interactive view of the book please follow this link.
Looking into the cultural significances of memorials and how we as a community use them to grieve on a larger scale with a focus on the Vietnam Memorial as a cultural shift within America's communal grieving process and the evolution of the monument.
The ideation and building process of the sculptural element ended with an attempt at a stone monument which I built out of tiles unsuccessfully. This would later be included in the book as an interactive tear out piece.
To end the piece I ask readers to respond to what they have just read, to look at ones own life and see grief they have left hidden, to take time away from our busy life to process life and existence as a whole. I ask readers to join in the process of commemoration, whether it is a poem written on the walls of the monument, or simply in the creation process itself I ask people to take part and allow the process to become.