“Collective Memory” is an interactive public performance that posed the question: “What would you like the world to remember about 9/11?” to an audience at Bryant Park in New York City on the 10th anniversary of September 11th.
For this project, a pool of ten typists, each dressed in black 60s-era office attire, set up a public typing pool in the Bryant Park behind the main branch of the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan. Passersby were invited to share their thoughts about what they would like the world to remember about the devastating events of 9/11 and the typists recorded their words verbatim. Performances were held on September 9, 10 and 11, 2011.
Through these innovative means, the work attempts to personalize this historical event in a way that might not otherwise be possible. Answers to the question were typed on blank 4x6" index cards, with participants adding rubber-stamp messages to each card. The cards were subsequently exhibited in an installation at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where Oring is an art professor.