Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen), the Francoist monument built between 1940 and 1959 close to Madrid, will soon be emptied of Franco’s remains.
As it risks becoming a cenotaph – an empty burial monument – and it is at the center of heated public discourses surrounding its future, Valle de los Caídos is paradigmatic of the difficult processes of re-signifying controversial monuments.
Digital creative tools allow us to envision ever-expanding domains for cultural heritage and memory making in both time and space, potentially eliminating boundaries to engagement and visualization and allowing for radical re-signification of physical monuments via digital, networked archives.
With the aid of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, the digital boundaries of the Valle de los Caídos could stretch to include the archeological traces of the barracks where convicted had to live whilst building the monument, as well as the on- and off-line public discourse surrounding the memorial itself. What could future heritage sites look, feel, sound like, and how could their digitally enriched features affect memory-making processes?
To address these compelling issues, between 25 and 27 October 2018, as part of the long-term “Deep Space” artistic project and investigative program, Hybrid Space Lab will curate the international, interdisciplinary workshop “Deep Space: Re-signifying Valle de los Caídos” at MediaLab Prado, Madrid.
Interdisciplinary and international, the workshop will explore the potential that lies in the integration of creative formats and methods in processing heritage, elaborating on the extremely controversial context of the Valle de los Caídos and ideating tools for the further development of the “Deep Space” project.