LIBERTY BELL BOSTON
- Date: July 04, 2020 - July 04, 2021
- Partner: 7|G Foundation & Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Boston. Host Partners: Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Cyberarts, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston Harbor Now
- Artists: NANCY BAKER CAHILL
NANCY BAKER CAHILL “LIBERTY BELL”
AN AUGMENTED REALITY PUBLIC ART PROJECT
On view in Boston above Fort Point Channel on the Harborwalk
LIBERTY BELL BOSTON VEIWING DIRECTIONS:Go to Fort Point Channel and head to the middle of the Harborwalk between the Congress and Seaport bridges on either side for best viewing. The drawing floats over the water of the Channel. This site is wheelchair accessible.
TO EXPERIENCE THE ARTWORK: Download the FREE 4th Wall app from the App Store or Google Play, using Wifi. The app works on iPhones 6s and above (iOS11 and up), any iPad with AR capability, and Androids with AR Core. Once downloaded, be sure to "Allow Access" to photos, microphone, camera and location. Be sure device sound is on. The 4th Wall app does not collect any user data.
**Duration of the work is approximately 1 minute 30 seconds, and it is recommended that viewers experience the full animation with sound.**
When viewing the work please adhere to all social distancing guidelines as instructed by the CDC.
Artist Nancy Baker Cahill will unveil “Liberty Bell”, a new public art project utilizing augmented reality, presented simultaneously in six cities in the United States: Boston, MA, Charleston, SC, Philadelphia, PA, Rockaway, NY, Selma, AL, and Washington, DC. Liberty Bell will be on view from July 4, 2020. Art Production Fund is pleased to partner with the Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Cyberarts, Rose Kennedy Greenway, and Boston Harbor Now for the Boston iteration of the Liberty Bell project.
Commissioned by Art Production Fund, in partnership with 7G Foundation and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, a project of the Fund for the City of New York, Liberty Bell is an animated, monumental and richly sonorous augmented reality (AR) drawing in 360 degrees. The public artwork will be geolocated at a series of sites and experienced on smartphones through Baker Cahill’s free 4th Wall app. This project, which is two years in the making, lives at the vibrant intersection of public art, social consciousness and tech.
In this polarized and tumultuous election year many concerns persist around the founding principles of American freedom and democracy. Inequality, structural racism, injustice, and the ability to vote are chief among them. Inspired by the original cracked Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the drawing hovers beyond viewers, swaying with the rich and layered sound of bells tolling. The Liberty Bell soundscape morphs from the rhythmic lulling of a tolling bell, into a harmonious and dissonant sequence of ringing as it becomes increasingly unpredictable and arrhythmic. Ranging from analog to synthetic, the sounds were compiled from a diverse array of historical moments and locations. The richly textured brushstrokes and bell sounds resemble loosely knitted threads that unravel and come together in an uncomfortable, but cohesive moment. They reflect the evolution and transformation of liberty over time into the complex reality we face today. Baker Cahill chose July 4th, known as Independence Day, as a launch date to advocate for justice, civil rights and freedom in the U.S..
AR is impermanent, ephemeral, invisible to the naked eye and leaves no environmental trace. It is accessible to a broad audience through the ubiquitous use of smartphones and tablets. Community programming will be organized online and in-person when possible. Programming will include topical conversations by cultural leaders and community members from all 6 cities as they relate to current events. Providing a platform for conversation and access to the artwork is a crucial component of this project.
"From its origins in American history, “liberty” was only available to a certain demographic and came at great expense to others. You can’t have a conversation about freedom and not talk about the history of slavery and inequality in the United States. A bell can be a warning or a celebration; something spiritual or a wordless means of communication. In an age of pandemic, surveillance, injustice and disinformation, who is actually free? That’s the conversation we need to have." - Nancy Baker Cahill, Artist
“We are thrilled to present Liberty Bell in six different US cities this summer. While adhering to social distancing guidelines, it feels crucial to bring this important artwork safely to the public. Through a visual and sonic AR experience, Baker Cahill gives viewers the opportunity to reflect upon their personal experiences of liberty, freedom, injustice and inequality. We are honored to present this poignant work during such a remarkable time.” - Casey Fremont, Executive Director, Art Production Fund.
In Boston, Liberty Bell highlights one of the most formative moments in U.S. history, the Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty threw chests of tea sent by the East India Company into Boston Harbor as an act of protest against the British. This historic moment, among others, ignited the American Revolution which began two years later. Liberty Bell invites viewers to reflect on one of the early struggles for American liberty and independence while questioning how this event shaped the future of the country. Focusing on the founding of the United States, the project asks us to consider those who were granted rights, and those who were excluded.
Liberty Bell weaves a common thread between all six cities underscoring our interconnectedness and shared cultural inheritance. These historically significant and charged locations comprise an unprecedented activation spanning the Eastern seaboard of the United States. In addition to the partners in Boston, Art Production Fund is pleased to present alongside the following local partners:
LOCAL PARTNERS: Boston, MA: Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Cyberarts, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston Harbor Now; Charleston, SC: Center for Heir’s Property Preservation; Philadelphia, PA: Association for Public Art (aPA); Rockaway, NY: 7G Foundation, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, The Rockaway Hotel, National Parks Service, NYC Parks, New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Rockaway Artists Alliance; Selma, AL: Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church; Washington, DC: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
NANCY BAKER CAHILL: Nancy Baker Cahill is a multidisciplinary artist and the Founder and Creative Director of 4th Wall, a free Augmented Reality (AR) public art platform. Through 4th Wall, she initiated Coordinates, an ongoing series of curated & site-specific AR public art exhibitions, including Defining Line in Los Angeles and Battlegrounds in New Orleans. She received an “Impact Maker to Watch” award at LA City Hall and was named by the LA Times as one of the 2019 Faces of the Year, ARTS. She is one of ten artist scholars in the Berggruen Institute’s inaugural 2020 Transformations of the Human Fellowship.
7|G FOUNDATION champions organizations and individuals that challenge inequality in human rights, education, art and culture. By partnering with organizations, artists and community facilitators we seek to build strong community bonds that elevate local culture, while supporting cultural change founded upon our core values of social impact and sustainability.
THE JAMAICA BAY-ROCKAWAY PARKS CONSERVANCY (JBRPC) is a public-private partnership established in 2013 that is dedicated to improving the 10,000 acres of public parkland throughout Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway peninsula for local residents and visitors alike. With its partners at the National Park Service, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, JBRPC works to expand public access; increase recreational and educational opportunities; foster citizen stewardship and volunteerism; preserve and restore natural areas, including wetland and wildlife habitat; enhance cultural resources; and ensure the long-term sustainability of the parklands. JBRPC is a project of the Fund for the City of New York, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, please visit www.jbrpc.org / @jbrpc
Special thanks to Anna Luisa Petrisko for her help with sound design, to the team at Drive Studios, and BFA.
LIBERTY BELL BOSTON