Artist lauren woods (who uses all lowercase) had worked with students for a year to compile documents related to police violence acquired through the Freedom of Information Act for the exhibition “American Monument,”using material from police reports, body camera audio, court transcripts, witness testimonies and audio files captured bystanders.
The centerpiece of American Monument was an interactive sound installation — a grid of 25 turntables that played audio related to black people who died after altercations with police. The cases included Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old killed by Ferguson, Mo., police Officer Darren Wilson in 2014, and Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old pulled over in a routine traffic stop, whose death in a Texas jail cell was ruled a suicide in 2015.
The project now highlights 22 cases of police or state-sanctioned violence against black people instead of 25, but the exhibition still features boxes filled with legal documents for each case and enlarged transcripts of testimony from Wilson and George Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012.
Once a needle is dropped on any of the 22 spinning turntables on pedestals, jarring recordings from dashboard cameras, bystander audio, and readings of police reports and court transcripts interrupt the music playing in the background. (LA Times)
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