LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

A MODERN APPROACH TO A HISTORICAL CONTROVERSY

DESIGN MANIFESTO:

Face yourselves and realize that your thoughts are not your own. What you perceive as yours is merely an amalgamation of everyone else’s ideas, views, and methods. You may feel as if you pick and choose to your liking, but in reality, your very way of life is a product of your direct environment and the constant noise that inhabits it. History is not an object of comfort. It is not a justification for our future. Our past is a mirror to be used for self-reflection; it is the vehicle for our transcendence of ignorance.

Challenge yourself to deny your accumulated prejudices. Forgo your lifetime of experience and personal growth. Step into the line of fire and face the ignition of controversy right at its source. Stop where you are, step out of your shoes and merely experience the given moment as it always will be: instantaneous. Remove your connection to the world and, instead, forge a new and untainted connection instead. Shed your bias and your anger to enter a space of tranquilly reframed context.

If you truly are as progressive as you claim, then surely taking a moment to assess yourself in a genuine and sincere fashion is effortless. Make the conscious choice to be fully immersed in an environment of neutrality. Stand strong in the midst of push and pull, one side and another. Witness the sacrifice of egos in the name of honesty. The seemingly unending division is, in fact, just a matter of perspective.

While the present is the only true guaranteed means of change, tomorrow’s present is just as vital to this cause. Issues arise just as time marches on, but future-driven defiance of their continuance will change the norm right before your very eyes. Now is the time to implement thoughtful evaluation of lessons learned and spark a never-ending wave of fearlessness. No longer can you afford to cower behind a history that does not mesh with “progressive” society. As one people, instead form a new understanding to slash the divisions that have haunted daily existence. Drain the power from division with every step along your path. 

Elegant discourse that replaces mindless confrontation will see the downfall of ignorance. Show those that defy society’s evolution in the name of foundationless heritage that they are wrong. Just the same, demand defiance in the name of mutual neutrality for the future’s sake at the cost of an ever-present past. Creating a destination from the heart of division will prove once and for all that hiding from the complete and honest truth is an act worthy of nothing but shame. 

A testament to the strength of truth in knowledge is standing firm in the midst of voices pushing and pulling from one side or the other. True neutrality is uncorrupted by opinion or emotion. The viewpoints may pry and jut into the plane of nonpartisanship, but isolated and willful care must be taken to evaluate the past, the present, and the future for one timeless struggle after another.

The monument dedicated to the “rank and file of the armies of the South” that once stood at the junction of a major boulevard on the University of Louisville campus returns along the procession of neutrality. The monument was decisively moved to the small town of Brandenburg in an act of willful denial by a “progressive institution.”

The monument’s new home upon returning to Louisville no longer serves to celebrate its history, nor does it serve to shame. The pathway carved into the campus exists to enforce neutrality by making tangible history avaliable for all to see, but never with complete clarity.

Just as the past cannot be undone, it cannot be remembered with complete clarity thanks in part to agenda-driven coverage. This monument now exists in an environment completely devoid of agenda. Vegetation, obstructed sight lines, and elevation change all make it physically impossible to view the monument in its entirety for anyone that experiences it. Instead, dynamic viewpoints couple with reflective geometry to create countless new visual perspectives of the monument.

Any observer is free to formulate their own thoughts on the matter within an uncurated space, separate from the noise and persuasions of the world outside its walls.

A university campus is the quintessential location for voicing of opinons and supposedly educated discourse. However, every building, every department, and every person brings with them a complicated past that induces bias and obliterates any semblance of neutrality.

Neutrality demands embodiment in the form of indifferent materials that exist on a plane entirely separate from pushing and pulling of everyday life. 

Soft gravel underfoot combined with gently rising walls of concrete drown out the bustling traffic that flanks the pathway. Carefully selected vegetation mounds up to the division edges as a final filter for light and noise.

Once a person willingly chooses to enter a space of neutrality, they forgo their obligations to partisan action. No measure can be employed in a space such as this to disrupt its all-encompassing, contemplative nature. Gone are the distractions. Gone are the tugs and tears of conversations past. Once the decision is made to follow this new path, the world around it disappears.

As the unidirectional path calmly descends deeper into the ground, the tree cover gets denser. Gently swaying leaves cast shimmering shadows onto the gravel and encourage a slow, steady walk. The walls, that in themselves push and pull the path along its overall neutral trajectory, obstruct views of the campus and the cars. All that remains is self-reflection.

The path winds past moments of stillness, like eddies in a stream, but only for a moment as time never ceases. As one wanders through, they step out of their past to participate in an enduring present.

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© 2019 Created by Addison Hellier