LIBERTY BELL CHARLESTON
- Date: July 04, 2020 - July 04, 2021
- Partner: 7|G Foundation & Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. Charleston Host Partner: Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation
- Artists: NANCY BAKER CAHILL
NANCY BAKER CAHILL “LIBERTY BELL”
AN AUGMENTED REALITY PUBLIC ART PROJECT
On view in Charleston at the Battery near White Point Garden, facing Fort Sumter
LIBERTY BELL CHARLESTON VEIWING DIRECTIONS:
White Point Garden and stand at the Battery, as close as possible to the fence by the water, facing Fort Sumter. This site is wheelchair accessible.
Click for a map of the Charleston viewing location.
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: Charleston, SC, Boston, MA, 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 Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation for the Charleston 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.
Charleston is an ideal location for the Liberty Bell project. Colloquially deemed ‘The Holy City’, Charleston is where 40% of U.S. slaves entered the country. Liberty Bell rings as a powerful reminder of the region’s past, present and future from the promenade just across the street from White Point Garden. The drawing hovers over the ocean with Fort Sumter in sight, the historic location of the first two battles igniting the American Civil War. Today, echoes of the Civil War continue to foment an ideological divide throughout the United States. This location resonates with Liberty Bell as it connects the project to America’s divided past and the lasting effects of slavery. Equally, it embodies our current cleft political and cultural reality, heightened by increased polarization and consequences of inequality.
“The Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation is proud to be a local partner on the Liberty Bell project. We are a non-profit whose mission is to protect heirs’ property and promote the sustainable use of land to build generational wealth for underserved families. It seems like a perfect time for this public art project as people are questioning the very definition of liberty and justice for all. The core of our mission is simply justice – social, economic and environmental. We believe the American dream needs to be colorblind. The Center has spent the past 15 years advocating for racial equality and our mission will continue into the future demanding justice.” – Dr. Jennie Stephens, CEO, Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation
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 Center for Heir’s Property Preservation in Charleston, 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, Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information; 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
THE CENTER FOR HEIRS’ PROPERTY PRESERVATION has been protecting heirs’ property through legal education and direct legal services since 2005. In 2013, the Center began promoting the sustainable use of land through forestry education and services to provide increased economic benefit to low-wealth family land owners. The Center provides legal services and forestry services in 18 South Carolina counties: Allendale, Bamberg, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Marion, Orangeburg, Sumter and Williamsburg.
To date, the Center has provided 2,713 persons with free, one-hour “Advice and Counsel” (A&C) with 602 clients receiving direct legal services to clear title. A total of 1,063 simple wills have been drafted at free, community Wills Clinics; more than 430 families (who collectively own in excess of 22,000 acres) have benefited from various levels of education and expert resources to develop and implement sustainable forestry management plans, and 269 titles have been cleared on family land with a total tax-assessed value of $16.1 million. For more information, or to support our work, please visit: www.heirsproperty.org
Special thanks to Anna Luisa Petrisko for her help with sound design, the team at Drive Studios and BFA.