Art and Change Grant
Neighborhood: South Philadelphia
Change Partner: Warren Longmire
Lillian will create Common Ground (working title), an online public art project that digitally locates videos of Philly authors performing site-specific poems at the very sites that inspired the piece in question. Smartphone users will be able to come across the poem sites as they move through the city. Non-smartphone users will be able to tour the poem sites from their computers. Lillian will draw on her experiences as a local poet and the editor of an all-Philly literary magazine to curate the collection of poems, create videos of the performances, and then work with a developer to create a mobile app and website that allows users to watch and respond to these poems. The project uses poetry’s communicative and connective power to foster transformative empathy for our fellow city-dwellers, and the capabilities of digital media and GPS/geotagging technology to heighten the poems’ immediacy, digitally placing the listener and the poet on the same patch of city ground for an intimate performance of the work. The format also encourages users to step out of their routine and alienated ways of moving through the urban environment by reframing seemingly ordinary places as the inspiration for poems and the sites of others’ ideas and histories.
Photo credit: Lorelei Narvaja