Columbus, and the places named after him, together form a series of associations—of American identity, capital, and property—that have considerable momentum. Columbus Columbia Colombo Colón is an investigation of these relationships. The installation in Mill Race Park is designed to make the invisible visible, through an overlay of material, texts, and discursive narratives that represent this system we negotiate every day. The installation consists of 58 vertical elements that represent the 58 distinct places named “Columbus” in the world. By navigating between each of the poles, visitors are invited to become curious about what Columbus, as a system, props up, and how this founding narrative pervades our understanding of what constitutes our collective story. Columbus, Indiana is not just a city, it is part of a larger complex of meaning and signification—the persistence of its continuing legacy is one that we all must grapple with.

Mill Race Park
MVVA with structures by Stanley Saitowitz, 1993

Michael Van Valkenburgh and Stanley Saitowitz’s Mill Race Park is located in the floodplain that was the site of the Mooney Tannery in the 19th century and later the area was known to locals as “Death Valley.” The area first became a park in the 1960s. In 1993, landscape architect Van Valkenburgh completed a redesigned park that honored the site’s heritage and ecology while looking to the future. The Round Lake acts as the visual center to the water-dominated composition. Saitowitz designed the architectural elements, including an Observation Tower offering a view of Columbus’ downtown architecture.

Dream the Combine is the creative practice of artists and architects Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers. They create site-specific installations exploring metaphor, imaginary environments, and perceptual uncertainties that cast doubt on our known understanding of the world. They are winners of the 2018 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program for their installation Hide&Seek, and have published widely, including features in Metropolis Magazine, Architectural Record, The New York Times, Dezeen, The Architects Newspaper, Architect Magazine, Archinect, and Log. Jennifer Newsom is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. Tom is co-owner of Jacobsson Carruthers, a metal fabrication studio in Minneapolis.