Through technology, light pixels and paper cards, Dispersed Memorial creates a country-wide collective remembrance of 9/11.


Asheville, North Carolina - August 11, 2011 -- One month before the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Dispersed Memorial is distributing memory cards ten at a time across the country to honor the date. Each laser cut card reveals the project name through delicate voids in the paper which create an ephemeral image only visible when the card is held to the light or casts a shadow. With each exchange of the card, a moment of remembrance is initiated and prompts a dispersed, collective conversation about the memory of loved ones lost or affected by the events of 9-11.  

Dispersed Memorial has created an online database using the Google Panoramio interface to collect these cards and other stages of the project still to come. The memorial cards will be geo-tagged andassembled to create a network of memories that record the stories of victims’ lives while allowing their loved ones to connect to people with similar experiences. In the next stage of the process, people will be asked to submit and geo-tag photos of themselves holding up an image of the Twin Towers as a way to restore the shape of the New York City skyline.  This will also involve the collection of dedications to each victim.

In the culminating stages of the project, Dispersed Memorial will translate those photographs intoglass plates scattered throughout the city. Each glass outline of the Twin Towers will correspond to the memory of the city’s skyline in varying locations. At night, the markers will light up one by one as an echo to the candles that were lit for the lives of victims in the days following 9-11, and will illuminate the inscriptions of stories, letters, poems and names that honor each victim. The memorial allows each contributor to choose the location of the glass plates where they wish to honor victims.

Co-founder Martha Skinner described the experience of sharing the memorial cards being issued for the 10th anniversary: “There is something symbolic about holding the card up and revealing a constellation of pixels of light that spell the name of the project. Each person finds his or her way to read it and reveal what it says. Some people bring up how they lost someone or how their friend didn't got to work that day.”

By collecting and installing the stories behind the lives of 9-11 victims, Dispersed Memorial explores concepts of dispersed memory as a continual presence in a city and how that memory can connect people. “The cards so precisely capture the spirit of the project -- a twinning virtual and physical dispersed memorial that one collectively and individually stumbles across while moving through daily life -- to stop, reflect and honor,” Skinner said.

Dispersed Memorial is one of many projects united by 10^10, an organization promoting simple design ideas that have exponential effect. For more information about the project team and 10^10, visit the Dispersed Memorial website:  and



Martha Skinner

Co-founder of Dispersed Memorial