Deep Wounds

RELATED TERMS: Installation; Interaction; Interaction Design; Agency

Deep Wounds is an interactive installation created by Brian Knep in 2006. It was commissioned by the Office for the Arts at Harvard University. It uses Harvard’s historic Memorial Hall to explore unfinished healing and reconciliation relating to the American Civil War. the Memorial Hall was built to honor the Harvard graduates who died while fighting for the Union between 1870 and 1878. Brian Knep noticed that the names of those who died for the Confederacy have been omitted.

Deep Wounds 1

Brian Knep Deep Wounds

Deep Wounds 2

Brian Knep Deep Wounds

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This is an interactive narrative environment that deliberately and skillfully tells a story in, and through a particular space. Visitors engage physically, emotionally and intellectually by reading the names and that appear across the luminous marble. The floor blisters as they walk over it and, not only do the names of those Conferedates who died appear, but also their relationships for example, father or brother. The piece prompts identification with the victims of war as real people and reflection on the way history is written by the victorious.