OURStory Popcycle

The Pulse night club tragedy resulted in the loss of 49 individuals, wounded dozens physically, and scarred countless thousands of others. The Wikipedia entry below suggests a single person was responsible for this tragedy — but is there no shared responsibility in participating in a culture that generated an ignorance of social policy and firearm regulations, and rhetorics of hate that inspired and allowed the Pulse nightclub tragedy, and similar events to occur in the future?

“On June 12, 2016, 29-year-old Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a mass shooting. The attack is the deadliest single gunman mass shooting in United States history,[18][19][20][21][22] the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history,[23] and the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the September 11 attacks of 2001″ (Wikipedia).

This digital exhibit was curated by Abigail Padfield, Debra Fuqua, Kathryn Girvan, and Christopher Foley. Our group of curators are all citizens of Central Florida, and members of the University of Central Florida academic community. As an attempt to understand our relationship to this event as a collective our group employed Gregory Ulmer’s concept of the popcycle as a curatorial aid and heuristic, each of us gathering images that represent our relationship to one of the dominant discourses of our lives: Family, Education, Career or Discipline, and Entertainment. In addition to using Ulmer’s work, our group considered the metaphor of the Wunderkammer as a means of representing our collective perspectives.

Wunderkammeren, or cabinets of curiosity, stood as lasting testaments to the early modern period wherein typically noble owners curated artifacts, and objects within cabinets to inspire thought, and discussion of their own interests and exploits. The collections frequently obtained rare mineral specimens, ancient bones, or art and artifacts procured from various people who were seen as savages. Are our personal Wunderkammeren, comprised of the media we collect, any less problematic than those of 17th century noblemen? The Wunderkammer serves as a strong method, and metaphor for curation and analysis — for public display, and introspection. As a vessel of representations with a tendency to include problematic emblems and elements it allows us to collect and see what composes us. It provokes the curator into considering what artifacts we carry, which we are willing to display, and those we are not. In addition to provoking the revelation of subverted ideology, the Wunderkammer also serves as a provocative thought engine (Delagrange), through which unexpected associations and contexts can be generated through the analysis of juxtaposed objects.

Family image: CC image courtesy of Web Gallery of Art
Education image: CC images courtesy of RICHES
Career image: CC image courtesy of Mira DeShazer
Entertainment image: CC

“Pulse Nightclub.” Wikipedia. 25 Apr. 2017.