[ISEA2022] Paper: Elizabeth Sikiaridi & Franz Vogelaar — Deep Space: Re-signifying Valle de los Caídos


Short paper, theme: Educations and Societies: Digital preservation: resignifying memory and oblivion
Venue: CCCB, date: June 14

Keywords: Memory in the Digital Age, Hybrid Heritage, Controversial Monuments, Inclusive Memory-making, Augmented Reality

Addressing the re-signification of a most controversial Francoist monument, part of the “Deep Space”-investigation, dealing with memory politics and heritage in the Digital Age. Unlocking the potential laying at the intersection between arts-technology-memory studies, the project cracks open the interwoven historically painful meanings of the monument, envisioning its possible futures. The project “Deep Space: Re-signifying Valle de los Caídos” pioneers the development of new methods and digital tools for re-signifying and transforming controversial physical memory sites.

The Francoist monument for the Fallen of the Spanish Civil War near Madrid, built between 1940-1959 partly by forced labour of political prisoners, includes more than 33.000 remains from both conflict sides, removed from mass-graves around the country without the relatives’ knowledge. The official onsite information does not communicate this difficult history; the traces of the prisoner of war-barracks and mass-graves are in no way visible to the visitors.

The project addresses the re-signification of this most controversial Francoist monument. As part of the long-term investigation “Deep Space”, dealing with politics of memory, controversial monuments and heritage in the Digital Age, it focuses on creative processes and digital tools.
Biography: Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Frans Vogelaar founded Hybrid Space Lab, a Think Tank and Design Lab for Architecture, Urbanism and Digital Culture; a cultural breeding ground, incubating breakthrough concepts, fostering innovation, contributing to positive societal and environmental change. https://hybridspacelab.net/project/deep-space

  • Professor Elizabeth Sikiaridi (GR/UK) has lectured since 1997 on design in the urban landscape at the University Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts OWL. Born in London, grew up in Athens, studied at Ecole d’Architecture de Belleville/Paris and TU Darmstadt (honours diploma), worked at the architectural office Behnisch&Partner and TU Berlin.
  • Professor Frans Vogelaar (ZW/NL) founded 1998 the first Department of Hybrid Space worldwide at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. Born in Holland, grew up in Zimbabwe and Holland, studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven (honours diploma) and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture London, worked at Studio Alchymia (Mendini, Milan) and at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (Koolhaas, Rotterdam).