Monument Lab

“Not Peaceable and Quiet” with Counterpublic Artists with Matt Joynt, Anthony Romero, and Josh Rios

Episode Summary

This episode of Monument Lab, we recorded live from the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, where Monument Lab has a research residency this summer. As a part of Public Iconographies, we are mapping monuments of St. Louis with a research team at the museum, in parks, and public spaces around the whole city, as a part of the Pulitzer’s Striking Power exhibition. To kickoff this project, we spoke to a trio of artists – Matt Joynt, Anthony Romero, and Josh Rios – as they prepared for their own exercise in mapping.

Episode Notes

This episode of Monument Lab, we recorded live from the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, where Monument Lab has a research residency this summer. As a part of Public Iconographies, we are mapping monuments of St. Louis with a research team at the museum, in parks, and public spaces around the whole city, as a part of the Pulitzer’s Striking Power exhibition. To kickoff this project, we spoke to a trio of artists – Matt Joynt, Anthony Romero, and Josh Rios – as they prepared for their own exercise in mapping.

Their project, Not Peaceable and Quiet (Piñata Sound System), includes the outfitting of a bike with a booming sound system and other purposeful flair. It is part of the Counterpublic neighborhood triennal in St. Louis on and around Cherokee Street, organized by the Luminary. The artists call it a “counter monument.” It takes up space, physically, and also is fully realized when participants pedal it around, moving the soundtrack with them.

Not Peaceable and Quiet doesn’t just use any bike – they transformed a retired bicycle previously used by a bike-sharing company that had left the St. Louis market and its fleet of 750 dockless bikes behind. The artists’ goal is to call attention to the failings of “on-demand lifestyle,” and policing of black and brown communities around calls for silence and order. In turn, they want to mark resistance through sound.

“Music that we chose, becomes a way to map the resiliency of these peoples who are being exploited, who are being dehumanized, but who find a way to transcend,” says Romero.

We recorded this episode live at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in late May 2019, the night before Not Peaceable and Quiet premiered at Counterpublic.