Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design

Visual Memory of the Fires of Debrecen

Data physicalization installation
Project overview
Year of project
Olga Kocsi
The history of Debrecen was fundamentally shaped by fires, which were frequent and devastating until the middle of the 19th century. The City of Debrecen, together with the Reformed Parish of the High Church, decided to commemorate these fires. Based on the minutes and written documents found in the Debrecen archives, Olga Kocsi was commissioned by MOME to create a data-based installation that showcases the history of the city's fires. Other MOME citizens also participated in the project, including researcher Mihály Minkó.
Images of fires captured through data visualization appear on the glass panels, evoking the tragedies of the past, but also the materials of reconstruction: wood, glass, metal and concrete complement each other to convey this defining narrative of the city’s history, with the message that the city and its inhabitants have always been able to recover and find new strength after adversity.
In the interior of the glass installation, time is divided vertically, while the city is sliced horizontally. The size of the rings on the glass panels varies according to the number of burnt houses, making the repetition of historical events transparent and highlighting the major fires that destroyed the city. photos: Miskolczi János
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