adhoc Episode 8: Michael Rees in conversation with John Craig Freeman

Michael Rees and the International Sculpture Center, publisher of Sculpture magazine, are excited to present Ad Hoc, a virtual talk series. Join Michael Rees as he talks with special guests who work in art, technology, and sculpture.

In this episode, Michael is joined by artist and educator, John Craig Freeman. Join us every other week for more episodes! Make sure you like and subscribe to get updates on the International Sculpture Center.

Michael Rees is an artist working in themes of figuration, language, technology, and the social to weave a sculptural mélange. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from Yale University. He also won a Deutscher Akademischer Austaushdienst for undergraduate study at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf, Germany, with Joseph Beuys. Rees is currently professor of sculpture and digital media at William Paterson University, and Director of the Center for New Art there.

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A LL World, Wuhan Wet Market

In 2016, Freeman traveled to the city of Wuhan in the Hubei District of Central China as part of the U.S. State Department’s cultural diplomacy program, the ZERO1 American Arts Incubator. Wet Market, Wuhan is part of an extensive body of work, which documents the rapidly changing city and seeks to shed light on the complex and nuanced culture and history of the place. In a time when political forces compete to lay blame for the failings of public health policy, the city of Wuhan, and specifically its wet markets, have become the target of derision. Using this ancient city and its’ local customs as a political cudgel, does nothing to solve the problem of the threat of global pandemics. Only science can do that. Read the article and view in AR.

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A Curated Conversation on Augmented Reality

A Curated Conversation on Augmented Reality hosted by Lucas Cowan today for the Rose Kennedy Greenway, (Hoverlay), George Fifield (Boston Cyberarts) and artist John Craig Freeman. Including artworks by Tamiko Thiel, Will Pappenheimer and Nancy Baker Cahill.


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Augmented Reality in Education

John Craig Freeman and Gregory L. Ulmer, “Chapter 7: Choral Konsult: Augmented Reality for Electrate Learning,” Edited Vladimir Geroimenko, Augmented Reality in Education: A New Technology for Teaching and Learning, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, and New York, 2020.24Jan20 Cover Design

ISBN-13: 978-3030421557
ISBN-10: 3030421554

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The Auto Show, 2019 Public Art season on The Greenway

Augmented Reality Art on the Greenway
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Boston MA
Starting Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
With generous support from Hoverlay

In partnership with Boston Cyberarts, the Greenway Conservancy commissioned AR artists and a local historian to conceptually explore the themes of transportation and the automobile superimposed with views of The Greenway, combining the past, the present, and the future.

The featured AR artists on this project are Nancy Baker Cahill, Will Pappenheimer, and John Craig Freeman.

John Craig Freeman has contributed two augmented reality public art experiences for The Auto Show, including Fossil Fueled, a whimsical representation of the history of fossil fuel consumption, and Roadside Detritus, a poetic contemplation of U.S. Route 1, which was once routed along the same path through Boston that makes up the Rose Kennedy Greenway today.

IMG_1513Fossil Fueled, John Craig Freeman, augmented reality public art, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Boston MA, 2019.

These two projects allow users to view and explore world-scale virtual representations of the detritus of an era of optimism based on the freedoms afforded by the automobile and the interstate highway system. Fossil Fueled includes a collection of virtual gas pumps, dating from the 1920s to the 1970s. Some have become unmoored, spinning in midair.

IMG_1507.jpgRoadside Detritus, John Craig Freeman, augmented reality public art, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, Boston MA, 2019.

Old Route 1 was produced along the remaining U.S. Route 1 through Massachusetts from Attleboro to Newburyport. The artist traveled the historic highway scanning residual evidence of the utopic mid-twentieth century automobile culture.


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Technology is changing the way we make, experience and share our ideas. But how do artists use it to shape their craft and the way their audiences experience it? ART + TECHNOLOGY explores how creatives are bringing the disparate fields of ART + TECHNOLOGY together to reveal surprising works that belong to a whole new genre.

ART + TECHNOLOGY Episode 26: “Can AR drive change?”

Viewing technology as a crucial part of the art world in 2018, John Craig Freeman works with AR to create authentic artwork that will be relevant to the masses. In the twenty-sixth episode of ART+TECHNOLOGY, we are introduced to John’s AR art through the lens of globalisation and local communities.

John’s project, Coming Home is an AR public art installation that raises awareness of the houseless in San Francisco. To showcase the plights of the elderly, the homeless and students; Coming Home combines AR and storytelling to create a vehicle for education and empathy through art.

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Coming Home

An immersive augmented reality public art installation created by John Craig Freeman and Sound Made Public, Produced by Lava Mae and ZERO1

Public launch September 7th–14th, PROXY, San Francisco


Coming Home, is a walk through augmented reality experience connecting the people of San Francisco across the housing divide. Visit the project page.

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Facing Rocky Flats


Canyon Gallery
9th Street and Canyon Boulevard, Canyon Blvd, Boulder, CO 80302
April 27 – June 10


Reproduction of one of eleven 10’ x 40’ billboard images from the 1990 interventionist public art project Operation Greenrun II, John Craig Freeman, 10′ x 40′ mosaic laser prints on coated fluorescent paper. Photo Mark Freeman.

Curated by Jeff Gipe, “Facing Rocky Flats” precedes the planned public opening of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. This group exhibition uses art and oral history to explore the past, present, and future of this contentious site.

From 1951 to 1989, Rocky Flats produced the plutonium “pits” (or fissile cores) for every nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal. During that time, the plant was alternately revered as a patriotic enterprise that protected American freedom, reviled as the most destructive bomb factory in human history, and denounced as a secretive polluter that spread deadly radiation across Denver’s suburbs. Equally heated debates have broken out over Rocky Flats’ demolition (1995-2005) and the ongoing efforts to keep its residual contamination from spreading.

Today the former bomb plant is invisible to the eye, yet its radioactive remnants will outlast the half-life of plutonium – 24,110 years. The legacy of Rocky Flats is still in its infancy. “Facing Rocky Flats” surveys the first of what will be many generations of creative undertakings necessary to keep the site’s history and memory alive.


Canyon Gallery, Bolder Colorado. Photo Mark Freeman, 2018.

John Craig Freeman is an artist with over two decades of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public work at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. With his work, Freeman seeks to expand the notion of public by exploring how digital networked technology is transforming our sense of place.

In the late 1980s, Freeman moved to Colorado to pursue an MFA at the University of Colorado. Before he arrived, a group of environmentalists known as Citizens Against Billboards on Highway 93 had organized a successful boycott against a group of billboard that were lined up in a row, just outside the front gates of the Rocky Flats plant. The ads, located along one of the most scenic parts of the drive along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, were considered an eyesore. Plutonium contamination is, of course, invisible.

Unable to convince local businesses to advertise on the billboards, the owner was driven out of business and the billboard structures stood empty for several years. Freeman recognized the billboards potential for public art and began making proposals using early Macintosh desktop computing technology. After convincing the owner to loan the structures for the project, Greenpeace got wind of the project and offered to fund it.

Operation Greerun II, consisted of eleven 10′ x 40′ billboard faces, made of thousands of individual 8.5” x 11” bitmap laser prints per billboard.

Over about a mile, the text read “TODAY” “WE MADE” “A 250,000 YEAR” “COMMITMENT”. The half-life of of plutonium, the duration of time that it remains deadly, is a quarter of a million years.

The decision to shut down plutonium operations at Rocky Flats was quietly taken during the media firestorm that followed this project.


Installation, Facing Rocky Flats. Photo Mark Freeman, 2018.
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Exploring an Augmented Reality

Ronni Gordon, The Take Magazine, November 18, 2017

New media artist John Craig Freeman uses augmented reality in public art projects to let us see two worlds at once.

hero-2It’s hard to escape the debate over the proposed border wall with Mexico, but, if you live in New England, difficult to envision the area where it would go. New media artist John Craig Freeman has brought the U.S.-Mexico border to Boston through a technique called augmented reality (AR), or digital information integrated into the world in real time. His project, Virtual U.S. Mexico Border, enables viewers to be in two different worlds simultaneously. Read the entire article.


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Screen City Biennial, Stavanger Norway

Virtual US/Mexico Border, augmented reality public art
Opening October 5th–8th, 2017, until October 31st.


Curated by Tanya Toft and Daniela Arriado, Screen City Biennial is produced in partnership with the Stavanger Maritime Museum. The theme of the Biennial, Migrating Stories, reflects topics of migration and post-colonialism, new geographies and ecology, real and virtual voyages, storytelling and narratives traveling through time.


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