LACMA: Artists Respond

Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands, by John Craig Freeman and Funnel Vision by Will Pappenheimer

Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Artists Respond program is an ongoing series of web-based creative projects by artists responding to exhibitions and collections on view at LACMA. Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands was produced in response to the Russian Avant-Garde exhibition.


Visualization of "AR Orator no5," by John Craig Freeman at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2012.

Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands, by John Craig Freeman, is based of the work of Gustav Gustavovich Klucis, including his designs for screen-radio orators, rostrums, and propaganda stands from 1922. See screenshots of the project taken on location.

Video by Will Pappenheimer, July 5th, 2012.”

Klucis was a pioneering member of the Russian Constructivist avant-garde in the early 20th century. As Russian politics degenerated under the Stalin dictatorship in the 1920s and 30s, Klucis came under increasing pressure to devote his artwork to state propaganda. Despite his loyal service to the Communist Party, Klutsis was arrested in Moscow on January 17, 1938. His whereabouts remained a mystery until 1989, when it was discovered that he had been executed by Stalin just after his arrest.

Each of the virtual Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands display a black and white animation from a contemporary mass uprising; Tank Man near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989; the assassination of Neda Agha-Soltan, who was gunned down in the streets of Tehran during the 2009 Iranian election protests; scenes from Tahrir Square in Cairo during the 2011 Arab Spring; and the 2011 Occupy Wall Street uprising. Each of these images are juxtaposed, in montage, with frames from the Odessa Steps scene of Sergei Eisenstein‘s historic Battleship Potemkin film. When touched, the virtual objects play sound from the uprising. The stands call up both the resurgence and nostalgia of current worldwide political idealism as they re-imagine the museum plaza in the function of the public square.


  • To view the work on location at LACMA, using any late model iPad, iPhone or Android, download the free Layar Augmented Reality Browser ( and scan this code



AR Orator no5 in development, 2012.


AR Orator no7 in development, 2012.


AR Orator no3 in development, 2012.


AR Orator no4 in development, 2012.

Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands, was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has been exhibited at Kunsthallen Nikolaj in Copenhagen, Triennale di Milano in Milan, Window Zoos & Views, DAW 2013 in Singapore, exURBAN SCREENS in Melbourne, and for SIGGRAPH ASIA 2013 in Hong Kong.

Also see Hans RichtAR @ Hans Richter: Encounters, LACMA.

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