For Design Pavilion, I Was Here combines art and design to depict the significance of memory, history, and ancestry and how all three come together to begin the process of healing ‘wounded’ sites by the legacy of enslavement around the United States.
Animated images of the Ancestor Spirit Portraits will debut in New York City on all four sides of the World Trade Center’s Podium, rising 200 feet above the ground. This site, so deeply significant to our recent American experience, also overlooks New York Harbor and the intersection of Wall Street and the East River, the second largest auction site for enslaved Africans in the country.
NYCxDESIGN is honored to present I Was Here as a Design Pavilion project and to roll out the breadth and depth of its meaning over the next year in NYC through projections, digital experience, Augmented Reality, monumental Spirit Portraits, soundscape, poetic narratives, and dance, as we build out an experience to honor and commemorate those whose names we will never know and, in so doing, acknowledge the wound in our citizenship that enslavement created.
Partnered with creators Marc Aptakin and Roy Husdell at MadLabs, and Mark Domino of Spireworks, Design Pavilion creates this introduction to NYC as a subtle Dreamtime experience.
This is the first in a series of historic story-telling through art and design. This inauguration of the project in Lower Manhattan will be a silent testament to honor the power, beauty, dignity and grace of those who were instrumental in building the foundation of our country.
NYCxDESIGN believes it is vital to understand our past in order to shape our future.