Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful

We live in an unsettled moment of technological, political, and cultural flux. Awash in endless currents of information delivered by glowing screens, each new headline brings a fresh opportunity for faith or despair. By definition, anxiety and hope are determined by a moment that has yet to arrive. How do our private apprehensions and expectations square with the collective mood? A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful is a living catalogue of the ways in which we relate to the uncertainty of tomorrow.

On view at the Rubin Museum of Art, Candy Chang and I created this participatory installation that invites visitors to share their anxieties and desires on vellum cards and hang them on the wall. Over the course of a year, we collected over fifty thousand responses, growing into a monolithic barometer where visitors can glean the prevailing mood while they explore thousands of responses that range from personal and local reflections to broader political and spiritual statements.

2018, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, NY. Vellum, wood, acrylic, 31′ w x 12′ h. A collaboration between Candy Chang and James A. Reeves for the Future Is Fluid exhibit.

Project management by Jane Hsu. Exhibition design management by John Monaco. Installation assistance by Robert Paash, David Wilburn, Andrea Pemberton, and Muoi Ly.

Received coverage in The New York Times and Time‘s “Science of Stress” issue.