Minimaforms’ Memory Cloud Detroit, 2011
Minimaforms is pleased to announce the launch of voiceofdetroit.com, an online archive of personal stories and expressions collected as part of our participatory project performed in the city of Detroit. In October of 2011, the Detroit Institute of Art was home to the first American performance of Memory Cloud by Minimaforms. Memory Cloud is based on the ancient practice of smoke signals – one of the oldest forms of visual communication. Fusing ancient and contemporary mediums, the project communicated personal statements as part of an evolving text, animating the built environment through conversation.
Voiceofdetroit.com archives and documents the performance while allowing for participants to continue evolving the collective diary as a voice that speaks of Detroit’s past, present and future.
For three nights the sky above Woodward Avenue was filled with bellows of smoke and light as the artist studio Minimaforms transformed the Detroit Institute of Art into a transient light environment. The ephemeral clouds acted as smoke signals, each cloud carrying a unique message and story. Memory Cloud Detroit was a platform that offered the people of Detroit an opportunity to engage in a dialogue about the city. This interactive space animated the DIA Woodward Entrance with stories collected from the public. During the two weeks leading up to the event, messages consisting of memories, stories and personal aspirations for the city of Detroit were collected and archived on-line at www.voiceofdetroit.com. Each individual expression became a part of a continuous story about the city, a narrative written by participants over the duration of the project transforming the steps of the DIA into a dynamic space for communication. Audience members were also able to contribute messages via text-message during the performance each night.
Sample collected voices:
“They told me this city was dead. Instead, it brought me to life.”
I thought I would move back to live among the dead memories of my childhood. Im more alive than Ive ever been. »
“Rest in Peace Jessica~ Your body may have been left there, but your soul has risen above it~ Detroit was my home and I never feared it until now.”
The performance was sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Arts, funded by the Dr. and Mrs. George Kamperman Fund and Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art, in cooperation with Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Kunsthalle Detroit.