Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands, Singapore

John Craig Freeman, 2013

daw_newlogo_artscienceOrators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands was produced in association with “Window Zoos & Views,” an exhibition of augmented reality public artwork during the Digital Art Weeks International, Singapore, 2013. The project is based on the work of Gustav Gustavovich Klucis, including his designs for Screen-radio Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands from 1922. Speakers’ Corner is an area located within Hong Lim Park, the only place in Singapore where people can demonstrate, hold exhibitions and performances, and speak freely on most topics, but only with proper permits.


Orators, Rostrums, and Propaganda Stands, by John Craig Freeman, augmented reality public art, Singapore, 2013.

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.

Whereas the public square was once the quintessential place to air grievances, display solidarity, express difference, celebrate similarity, remember, mourn, and reinforce shared values of right and wrong, it is no longer the only anchor for interactions in the public realm. That geography has been relocated to a novel terrain, one that encourages exploration of mobile location based public art. Moreover, public space is now truly open, as artworks can be placed anywhere in the world, without prior permission from government or private authorities – with profound implications for art in the public sphere and the discourse that surrounds it. In the early 1990s, we witnessed the migration of the public sphere from the physical realm, the town square and its print augmentation, to the virtual realm, the Internet. In effect, the location of public discourse and the site of national identity formation have been extended into the virtual world and the global network that now surrounds us.


  • To view the work on location at Hong Lim Park in Singapore, using any late model iPad, iPhone or Android, download the free Layar Augmented Reality Browser (http://layar.com) and scan this code



Digital Arts Weeks, TimeOut Singapore.

Interview: John Craig Freeman, TimeOut Singapore.

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.

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