**States of Change is a Goodness First work of serial, speculative fiction. The story and subtext are provided for reader entertainment and contemplation. Feel free to comment on the ongoing story-line and themes .**
In the mid-morning sun of Bushnell Park, Javette Kvendai walked up the marble steps to the large, and conspicuously empty, vermilion granite dais. The three members of the PubArt Selection Committee followed closely behind.
A meter-high, fluoro-blue modular barricade surrounded the monument foundation reflecting the newness of its construction. In the distance the Hartford Capitol building hove like a colossal ship of stone anchored in a sea of windswept grass and amid deciduous storm clouds.
"Do take in the surroundings, friends, before I extemporize."
Rinita Mendez voiced the frustration each of the committee was feeling.
"Ms. Kvendai, you have our full attention. As one of the finalists competing for the Liberation Day memorial design, we have granted your request for this outdoor presentation. However, rest assured we have reviewed your project plan and your immersion model fully."
Javette exhaled a zephyrous breath, conveying her own frustration and simultaneously her desire to unify those present emotionally. As an artist she took pride in her continual duty to marry human empathy with raw existence, even in casual conversation.
"Yes madamme. I appreciate the committee's thoroughness...and feedback during this whole process. Right now, I simply invite you to take off your visARs, disconnect from the net and feel the presence of this place, a place where a historic sculpture will stand on Liberation Day next year and for many to come."
The committee lead retorted, "Must we...oh very well."
After a sideways glance with her companions each removed their tech eye-wear. Javette smile-nodded at their squinting faces in response and proceeded knowingly before she wore out the patience of these pragmatic people.
"Thank you. It is only my intent to have your imagination stirred, as I hope my sculpture will stir all who visit the park here to relax and revel in the presence of snow, rain and sunlight, and of course, the last fifty years of NewConn legislative efforts.
"As you know from my submitted virtual model and notes, the central theme of this sculpture would be to underscore the peaceful progress that has flowered from decades of slow-release NewConn policies, policies pollinated with scientific research and implemented by patient statesmen and law enforcement.
"Our state's governing philosophy serves as the seed of my vision, a seed which will erupt as a twenty meter flowering mounain laurel from this very dais before you.
"Imagine, if you will, the triple helix stem constructed of thousands of confiscated and disabled firearms nano-welded and rising in a spiral high above you. The scarlet tendrils that weave through the marble at our feet will highlight the blood that was been shed in torrents by this state and its people...from AmRev to Sandy Hook to handful of deaths that still occur each year in NewConn.
"The mixture of weaponry from all eras of our state, of metal and printed plastic, automatic rifles and one-shot rail pistols, will signify the the meaningless diversity that our government has now dismissed in favor of the deeper diversity of human creativity and solidarity.
"The bans of military grade weapons by the Liberation Congress may have been the beginning fifty years ago, but with each year since a further reduction in weaponry has been part of a ninety-nine percent reduction in homicide and suicide, that no other of the Indies have been able to replicate.
"Nevertheless, the true victory of NewConn has been the ongoing nurturing of a culture that fosters relationship skills and methodologies of kindness. The flowering monument that you see in your mind's eye now is meant to convey that catharsis and the struggle of our state and its citizenry."
The youngest committee member touched fingertips in acknowledgement before positing his query. "The physical presence does seem impressive, but please comment on the augment layer you've proposed. It seems potentially at odds with a family friendly experience."
"Absolutely. Rest assured, the planned AR layer will be spectrum sensitive with standard parental control protocols. The proposed augment-generated characters will be authentic, third-party approved emulators...whether the ARbots are gunshot victims, their survivors, and the NewConn statereps who demonstrated the necessary political will. In the end, an emphasis on the steadfast natures of the victims of violence alongside the citizen-run government will provide sculpture's living essence."
"Thank you Ms. Kevendai," interrupted the committee-lead, sliding on her visAR as she prepared to depart. "The committee will make its decision by close of the spring session. You'll be notified along with the other finalists of the committee's selection."
The eldest member of the committee remained behind as her colleagues descended the marble steps. "Personally I think the state flower connection is a nice touch. Are you sutured to the title of the sculpture? It feels a bit heavy on the archaic subtext."
"Do you think so?" Javette exhaled, head raised to the sky. "I rather think Constitution is ideal."