Paramount Watching


Paramount Watching, LED Public Art, by John Craig Freeman, Photograph by James Manning, November 2011.

ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage announces the launch of curated programming for the Paramount LED Windows on the façade of 559 Washington Street. Beginning Nov. 16, 2011 at 5:30 p.m., the Arcade Building LED Wall will feature new media work by four contemporary artists.

As part of the re-imagining of the Paramount Theatre, Emerson College created a three-story high, energy efficient LED installation designed to be viewed through the arched windows of the old Arcade building and seen from the street. Now an integral part of the Paramount Center, the Arcade Building houses the Paramount Mainstage, Bright Family Screening Room and Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre. Under the auspices of ArtsEmerson, Joseph D. Ketner II, The Henry and Lois Foster Chair of Contemporary Art and Distinguished Curator-in-Residence at Emerson College, has invited four artists to contribute works for the initial presentation: Jim Campbell, John Craig Freeman, Brian Knep, and Erwin Redl. Images will be visible on the buildings’ three stories-high, seven window bays-wide architecturally scaled art installation. Each artists’ work will run in 15 minute blocks. The program will run nightly beginning 2 hours before sunset and ending at midnight.

According to Ketner, “The intention is to activate the visual dynamics of Washington Street and the Theatre District neighborhood with something a little different—a monumental artistic experience.”

According to ArtsEmerson Executive Director Rob Orchard, “This is a wonderful new venue for ArtsEmerson, adding visual art to our already robust theatre, film and music programming. That it is visible from outside the building contributes to the energy and excitement of this historic neighborhood, and invites our audience, and everyone who lives, works, and plays downtown, to experience art on a daily basis.”

About John Craig Freeman

John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years 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. His work seeks to expand the notion of public by exploring how digital networked technology is transforming our sense of place. Freeman is a founding member of the international artists collective Manifest.AR and he has produced work and exhibited around the world including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, FACT Liverpool, Kunsthallen Nikolaj Copenhagen, Triennale di Milano, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing, He has had work commissioned by the ZERO1, and His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, El Pais, Liberation, Wired News, Artforum, Ten-8, Z Magazine, Afterimage, Photo Metro, New Art Examiner, Time, Harper's and Der Spiegel. Christiane Paul cites Freeman's work in her book Digital Art, as does Lucy Lippard in the Lure of the Local, and Margot Lovejoy in Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age. His writing has been published in Rhizomes, Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure. Freeman received a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is currently a Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston. Freeman writes, “If Andy Warhol set out to create a distinctly American art form in the twentieth century, I identify with those who seek to create a distinctly global art form in the twenty-first.”
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