HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate and the premier cultural institution celebrating Miami’s history, has partnered with the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College, and Obsolete Media Miami (O.M.M) to present MemoryLab, a gallery-based “laboratory” for examining the captivating concept of memory. The exhibition will be open to the public, March 9 through April 16.
A fascinating experience for all ages, 16 artists/collectives will use the vast collections from HistoryMiami Museum and the Wolfson Archives as inspiration for the individual art pieces they will exhibit at MemoryLab. The artists worked in both institutions to create their pieces based on ideas that look backwards, forwards and inwards at individual and collective memories. Among their resources, the artists had access to more than 1.5 million images and thousands of artifacts from the museum, dating back 10,000 years. Another invaluable resource, Wolfson Archives, includes more than 35,000 hours of Miami moments captured on video and 23 million feet of film, made in or about Florida, and which reflects the history and culture of this region. Footage ranges from home movies to travelogues, news film and news tape.
At the exhibition, each artist will have a section within a 5,000-square-foot space at the museum to display their final creation. Artists’ creative art pieces will range from abstract pictures with vintage materials to new contemporary works, mixed media art, interactive maps and 3D images. In conjunction with the MemoryLab exhibition, related programming will include a free opening night reception on March 9 and Family Fun Day on March 11 at the museum, in addition to the Rewind/Fast Forward Film Festival taking place March 18-19 at HistoryMiami Museum.
MemoryLab is co-curated by Kevin Arrow and Barron Sherer, principals of the experimental art studio project, O.M.M., and is supported through the generosity of Cannonball Miami, The Knight Foundation, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Dade Heritage Trust, the Florida Humanities Council, the Florida Department of Historical Resources, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Film Preservation Foundation. The project was conceived by Rene Ramos, the archives director at Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College, and Michael Knoll, VP of Curatorial Affairs at HistoryMiami Museum.
“Memory Lab at HistoryMiami is a forward thinking model for institutional collaborations,” co-curator Kevin Arrow said. “By inviting Obsolete Media Miami to curate and Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at MDC to participate shows a generosity of spirit.”
O.M.M. selected the exhibition’s participants, ranging from emerging to well-established artists who have ties to Miami and currently reside in Florida, New York, California and Washington.
“We are hoping that this unique cross pollination of artists and archives inspires creativity through the use of historical materials,” said Barron Sherer, co-curator and Principal, Obsolete Media Miami.
The participating collectives include Diann Bauer, Felice Grodin, Patricia Margarita Hernandez and Elite Kedan representing the Alliance of the Southern Triangle (AST), and T. Wheeler Castillo and Emile Blair Milgrim from Archival Feedback. Individual artists include: Shahreyar Ataie, Willie Avendano, John William Bailly, Domingo Castillo, Westen Charles, Clifton Childree, Adler Guerrier, Kathleen Hudspeth Julie Kahn, Elia Khalaf, Graham Lambkin, Juan Maristany, Gustavo Matamoros and Jamilah Sabur.
The work of Elia Khalaf, John William Bailly and Julie Khan will incorporate input from the public and will be enhanced and activated through interaction during the course of the exhibition. Conceptual/historical installations by Domingo Castillo and Adler Guerrier will investigate the ways in which Miami was developed and projected outwards and into the world. Sound installations by Archival Feedback, Gustavo Matamoros and Graham Lambkin will use field recordings and excerpts from archival sources to generate sound installations. In addition, the work of Shahreyar Attaie, Kathleen Hudspeth, Clifton Childree and Westen Charles will draw from our community’s rich past, while the speculative projects by Willie Avendano, Jamilah Shabur, Juan Maristany and the Alliance of the Southern Triangle (A.S.T.) will assume a vantage point from a perceived future or look in the direction of one.
Daily admission to MemoryLab is $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, $8 for students (with valid ID), and free for HistoryMiami members and children under 6.
Exhibition hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. MemoryLab is located at HistoryMiami Museum on 101 West Flagler Street in downtown Miami. Parking is available at the Cultural Center Parking Garage located at 50 NW 2nd Avenue.
About HistoryMiami Museum
HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is the premier cultural institution committed to gathering, organizing, preserving and celebrating Miami’s history as the unique crossroads of the Americas. We accomplish this through education, collections, research, exhibitions, publications and City Tours. Located in the heart of downtown Miami, HistoryMiami Museum is a 70,000 square foot facility and home to more than one million historical images and 30,000 three-dimensional artifacts, including a 1920’s trolley car, artifacts from Pan American World Airways, and rafts that brought refugees to Miami. For more information, call 305-375-1492 or visit historymiami.org.
About Obsolete Media Miami
Obsolete Media Miami (O.M.M.) is a repository for 35mm slides, archival motion picture materials and other legacy media. This enterprise functions as a research and preservation studio, a makerspace for analog media techniques and A/V club. It reaches media professionals, archivists, cultural producers and an engaged public with audiovisual presentations, lectures, performances, collaborations and workshops that showcase obsolete media materials in new contexts. Support for O.M.M. is provided by Cannonball through its WaveMaker Grants program, which is part of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s Regional Regranting Program. WaveMaker Grants is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. Obsolete Media Miami is a 2015 Knight Arts Challenge recipient and an artist run studio and archive. A Dacra underwritten project, O.M.M. is located in the Madonna Building in Miami’s Design District and was launched in 2015 by artists Kevin Arrow and Barron Sherer. For more information, visit omm305.org.
About Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives
The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives is an official moving image repository and archives of the State of Florida and is one of the largest institutions of its kind in the United States. Lynn Wolfson helped found the Moving Image Archives in 1984, along with Ralph Renick and historian Arva Moore Parks. Named in honor of Lynn and the late Louis Wolfson II, a Florida legislator and leader in the state’s communications industry, the Archives was created under the joint sponsorship of the Miami-Dade Public Library System, Miami Dade College (MDC), and the University of Miami. Now exclusively operated by the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College, the Archives has moved to its permanent home on the Campus. The Wolfson Archives’ mission is to collect, preserve, catalog, and make accessible film and video materials which document Florida’s history and culture. The Archives is an essential resource for the community, State and nation, and provides unique materials to researchers, film and video producers, and the general public. A year-round screening program features materials from the Archives’ collections and those of other archives throughout the nation and abroad. For more information, visit wolfsonarchives.info.