NANCY BAKER CAHILL “LIBERTY BELL”
AN AUGMENTED REALITY PUBLIC ART PROJECT
July 4, 2020 – July 4, 2021
On view at Rockaway Beach & The Rockaway Hotel at Beach 108th Street, Queens, Fort Tilden at Gateway National Recreation Area & Shirley Chisholm State Park, Brooklyn
DIRECTIONS FOR VIEWING THE ARTWORK:
Shirley Chisholm State Park
The Fountain Avenue, Brooklyn, entrance of the park either by walking, bike or car (limited parking). Enter the park and follow signs toward Fountain Pier[AZ1] , facing the open Jamaica Bay. The drawing will appear over the water. The artwork is also viewable from the Skybowl at the park. Note: this is a remote location, roughly a ten-fifteen minute walk from the parking area. Wheel chair parking is available.
Click for a map of the Shirley Chisholm State Park viewing location.
Rockaway Ferry Landing
Beach Channel Drive at Beach 108th Street, Rockaway Beach, and stand to the left of the Rockaway Ferry landing at the water's edge. Drawing will appear over Jamaica Bay. This site is wheelchair accessible.
Click for a map of the Rockaway Ferry Landing viewing location.
Rockaway Beach at Beach 108th Street
The Rockaway Beach boardwalk at Beach 108th Street and Shore Front Parkway, and walk or bike slightly left [AZ3] and toward the dunes and water. Drawing will appear over the ocean. This site is wheelchair accessible.
Click for a map of the Rockaway Beach at Beach 108th Street viewing location.
Fort Tilden: Battery Harris East
At Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area, enter the park and walk or ride your bike toward the Rockaway Artists Alliance studio 7 Gallery (Murray Road and Hero Road, Breezy Point). Walk west down Murray Road toward Battery Harris East, an abandoned military installation, and directly face the battery; drawing will appear overhead. Parking is not available at the park. Note: this is a remote location, roughly a ten minute walk from the gallery.
Click for a map of the Fort Tilden: Battery Harris East viewing location.
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.
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 Rockaway, New York, Liberty Bell covers four separate sites and will feature the original Liberty Bell drawing, as well as a companion AR artwork created exclusively for The Rockaways. The Rockaways companion drawing will be geolocated over the Atlantic Ocean and visible from Rockaway beach and the rooftop of The Rockaway Hotel (opening Summer 2020), as well as along the ruins remaining at Fort Tilden. This particular composition appears as an abstracted wave with a soundscape of a single bell tolling. The Rockaways drawing, thematically connected to the first, considers liberty as it relates to site specific climate change.
“The Rockaway Hotel is thrilled to sponsor this dynamic project. We believe that art can be the connective tissue of a community and through our community partnerships we hope to provide new opportunities for cultural enrichment to visitors and locals alike.” - Michi Jigarjian, Partner and Chief Social Impact Officer, The Rockaway Hotel
“JBRPC’s commitment to free public art in Jamaica Bay and Rockaway parks has allowed countless visitors to experience unique works of art in our parks since 2013. We are delighted to partner this summer with Art Production Fund and Nancy Baker Cahill on this cutting-edge exhibition. Baker Cahill’s Liberty Bell will allow park visitors to experience an augmented reality artwork, curated specifically for a number of Rockaway parks, and reflect on the natural beauty of these spaces along with accompanying sound,” - Alex Zablocki, Executive Director, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy.
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. 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
Special thanks to Anna Luisa Petrisko for her help with sound design, the team at Drive Studios and BFA.
Liberty Bell at Battery Harris East, Rockaway, NY from Art Production Fund on Vimeo.
Photo & Video by Neil Rasmus/BFA.com courtesy of Art Production Fund, Battery Harris East
Liberty Bell at Rockaway Beach at Beach 108th Street from Art Production Fund on Vimeo.
Photo / Video by Neil Rasmus/BFA.com courtesy of Art Production Fund