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.
Fossil 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.
Roadside 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.
- Julianna Thibodeaux, “Art in the Open, How Boston’s Public Art Boom is Helping to Reframe the Cultural Conversation,” Art New England, Vol. 40, Issue 5, September/October, 2019, pp. 38 – 41.
- Jacquinn Sinclair, “An Augmented Reality Experience On The Greenway Reminds Us Of Life Before The Big Dig,” WBUR The ARTery, July 12, 2019.
- Calvin Hennick, “Augmented Reality Brings Art and History to Life for Nonprofits,”
BizTech, July 12, 2019.