Live Interactive Remix Mural
With the support of artist Scott Lapham, PVD Fest attendees will create human sized portrait characters collaged together from hundreds of photographs recently taken of people in downtown Providence. Each character will literally be remixed from the images of a dozen or more people. Together these characters become a portrait of not one but dozens of citizens, illustrating the vitality of our public spaces. This event will take place in Burnside Park on June 4th from 1-4pm.
In 2000, AS220 Youth photography coordinator Scott Lapham began to teach weekly programs at the RI Training School, Rhode Island’s juvenile detention facility. To ensure that each student would have a clean record once they were released from the facility, he and his colleagues were not legally allowed to produce work that would reveal the identities of their incarcerated students, The students were not allowed to take the cameras into their rooms, outside the building, or even outside the single classroom Lapham taught his classes in. This left them with nothing to photograph except the walls of the classroom, since they could not photograph each other without exposing the identity of their subjects.
In a single cinderblock classroom full of students, Lapham turned the extreme spatial limitations into a collaborative collage style called Remix. This style was created “by photographing students faces as close as possible and then collaging them together with images from comic books and photos from other sources,” Lapham explains. Through this process, “students were able to create new identities. Students who perceived themselves to have little skill, and students who perceived themselves to have a lot of skill could each make personal engaging collaged images.”
In June 2014, Lapham and his students installed two new bus shelters on Broad Street decorated with the students’ huge remixed collages. The public art they created together represents the value of artistic collaboration and the immense amount of young talent in Providence.
During PVD Fest, Lapham will be helping festival attendees create human-sized portrait characters using his Remix collage method. Participants will collage together hundreds of photographs recently taken of people in downtown Providence. Each character will literally be remixed from the images of a dozen or more people. Together these characters become a portrait of not one but dozens of citizens, illustrating the vitality of our public spaces.
The Live interactive Remix Mural will be taking place in Burnside Park on June 4th from 1-4pm. Lapham and his students will also be unveiling their work in City Hall on Thursday, June 9th.