Art At The Cusp: Manifest.AR

By Stephen Persing, Big Red and Shiny


If you listen to certain voices you will be told that art is irrelevant; that it is not required to succeed in life; that there are better, more profitable things to do. If you are involved in any sociopolitical issue—which means you have a pulse—you know the lie of this alleged wisdom. Making a point requires conjuring images, visual and verbal. Any politician must be an artist; logic alone is not enough. Everyone who stands for something is a politician in this sense. An artist begins where listening to certain voices ends.

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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.”
This entry was posted in Augmented Reality, Press, Public Art. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Art At The Cusp: Manifest.AR

  1. Sashi Peterson says:

    It seems that at the moment, Augmented Reality is one of the unregulated channels for communication that we still have. I think that it’s powerful because of how obvious yet subversive it can be as a form of protest. In the future (if this hasn’t happened already) I can imagine the debates about the legality of AR space. Is all AR Space public? Or do private properties also have ownership of the overlaid virtual reality space?

    Given the fact that Aaron Swartz (R.I.P) was charged with a felony for just copying (not necessarily stealing) a bunch of digital academic documents, it’s clear that the old institutions of law are in disharmony with the reality of the digital world. At the moment I think that AR remains free because it mostly caters to a niche crowd. I’d like to see more people become involved in this so it can become further legitimized as a way to see the world, I just hope it can stay as free as it has been.

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