Portal to an Alternative Reality, St. Petersburg
Музей Анны Ахматовой сад, Anna Akhmatova Museum Garden
Saint Petersburg, Russia
September 22–25, 2016
Portal to an Alternative Reality, John Craig Freeman, immersive augmented reality public art, Anna Akhmatova Museum Gardens, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2016.
Art Prospect Festival is St.-Petersburg’s largest annual festival of public art. Founded by the non-profit organization CEC ArtsLink in 2012, Art Prospect sets out to transform familiar urban landscapes, filling the city’s streets, courtyards, parks, and other public spaces with temporary, site-specific art. ART PROSPECT furthers the development of new forms of creative interaction, giving artists from Russia and abroad the opportunity to engage with local context, defining and reformulating its aesthetic, historical and cultural, and social components. Since the Festival’s inception in 2012 more than 150 artists from 20 countries all over the world have taken part in the festival and attracted more than 15 000 visitors.
Produced by public artist John Craig Freeman, Portal to an Alternative Reality, St. Petersburg acts as an access point where the public can immerse themselves in virtual and augmented reality experiences.
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.”