Pneu History: Re-Completing the National Monument of Scotland
02 Jun—08 June (7 dates)Online Research & Design
This browser-based game allows users to “re-complete” the “unfinished” National Monument of Scotland with a series of digital pneumatic objects that they can inflate, deflate and recompose in conversation with the monument itself.
Event WebsiteView website
02 Jun—08 June
SupportersIan Erickson Oliver Moldow
The National Monument of Scotland began as a popular 1822 proposal to build no less than an exact replica of the Ancient Greek Parthenon atop Calton Hill in Edinburgh to commemorate fallen soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars. Yet when construction ended in 1828, only a fragment of the initial proposal crowned the hill. The partial Parthenon is seen as a failure so severe that the monument is still referred to as “Edinburgh's Disgrace” and “the Pride and Poverty of Scotland'' to this day. The structure’s fragmentary status as a “readymade ruin” causes it to be a projective device for shifting Scottish national identities in ways a more “complete” monument never could. For Architecture Fringe 2021, “(Un)learning,” we created a series of on-site AR filters to revive various historical initiatives to complete the seemingly unfinished monument—as catacombs for national heroes, as an extension of the National Gallery, and as a full Parthenon replica—rendering them according to “pnue” aesthetic principles as digital soft body geometries inflated under simulated pressure. A literal “blowing up” of history. The three follies initiated a process of unlearning the entrenched values of the western tradition through an irreverent digital pageant that collides the Neoclassical with the contemporary in a spectacle of mutual absurdity. Here, a browser-based Unity game for the 2023 Architecture Fringe, “(R)Evolution,” revisits this work as a crowd-sourced sequel, allowing anyone to “re-complete” the “unfinished” National Monument of Scotland with a series of digital pneumatic objects that they can inflate, deflate and recompose in conversation with the monument itself.
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