Mapping Ararat

Exhibition:
April 4-7, 2013, Friday – Saturday: 10-7:30pm, Sunday: 10-2pm
Opening: Thursday April 4, 5-7pm
Jackman Humanities Building
170 St. George Street, Toronto
Room 100B and Foyer

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In September 1825, Major Mordecai Noah founded Ararat, “a city of refuge for the Jews” on Grand Island, New York. This turned out to be the first of many unrealized projects in modern history that sought to carve out a nation for the Jewish people. Mapping Ararat offers the user/participant the tools to imagine an alternative historical outcome for Noah’s Ararat and to navigate through an imaginary Jewish homeland.

Utilizing cutting-edge digital media technologies such as augmented reality, this project gives Ararat a virtual chance to become the Jewish homeland that its founder had envisioned over one hundred eighty years ago. The project consists of an on-site augmented reality walking tour that haunts the contemporary landscape of Grand Island. In addition, Mapping Ararat generates the vernacular artifacts common to all modern nation-states whether money, postcards or stamps.

The exhibition Mapping Ararat: Globally Positioned Sites brings the onsite augmented reality walking tour to the gallery in the form of a video. The exhibition also includes a sampling of Ararat tourist screenshots taken from site visits as well as examples of vernacular cultural artifacts. In addition, the Mapping Ararat Team has placed two augments on the University of Toronto campus as demos. For further information please visit: www.mappingararat.com

Mapping Ararat is funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant.
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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, Rhizome.org and Turbulence.org. 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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