"Monuments and the Future" Lecture

Update: If you would like to view a recording of the "Monuments and the Future" Zoom lecture, it is now available. There is also a Zoom-generated transcript now available.

C. Thi Nguyen
C. Thi Nguyen presenting a lecture. 

On Thursday, March 11th at 12 p.m., join the Ethics Institute for a virtual Zoom lecture by Dr. C. Thi Nguyen, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah. Dr. C. Thi Nguyen will present his talk titled "Monuments and the Future: The Role of Public Art in Community Action." The Meeting ID is 962 2474 7052 and the passcode is 136252. The abstract for his talk appears below.

"Monuments, it is usually thought, help us remember. I would like to suggest that they are not just backward-looking, but forward-looking. Monuments can help groups express a value, hang on to it, and coordinate their actions around it. Monuments, and other forms of public art, can serve a role in how groups make themselves coherent, and guide themselves over time. And, unlike the dry language of policy, as we find in mission statements and corporate charters, public art can express the subtle, the inchoate, the emotional. Art makes it possible for groups to have, and guide themselves using, emotionally-laden values. To understand this, we need to change our view of what art can do. Art can address, not just individuals, but groups. So art can function as the vessel for a kind of long-term, emotional group thought. If this is all true, then we arrive at a totally new set of reasons to change, remove, and revise our monuments. Monuments aren't just for remembering the past; they can also be our vessel for articulating our intentions for future group actions."