Welcome Plutocrats, John Craig Freeman, 2013. This is the Augmented Reality intervention at the Contemporary Istanbul art fair as part of the event YOU CANNOT AFFORD THIS!, hosted by Plug-in. This is part of a series of new public spaces interventions in Istanbul organized by the Museum of Contemporary Cuts and Kasa Gallery, with the support of Royal College of Art, NYU Steinhardt, Sabanci University and Goldsmiths, University of London. The public installations and events lead to two different exhibitions: I Occupy at Kasa Gallery and Jackpot at the Museum of Contemporary Cuts.
Lead Curator: Lanfranco Aceti. Senior Curators: Pat Badani, Nicholas Mirzoeff and Marquard Smith. Event Manager: Çağlar Çetin.
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.”
Mark Skwarek is an artist working to bridge the gap between virtual and physical worlds with augmented reality. His art explores the aesthetics of translation of our everyday digital experience into material and immaterial audience experiences through physical and mediated artworks. Skwarek is a full time faculty at NYU Polytech where he is the director of NYU’s Mobile AR Lab and is the CEO of the start up Semblance Augmented Reality. He organized the augmented reality artist group manifest.AR, the arOCCUPYWALLSTREET movement, and co-organized We AR in MoMA. Skwarek’s practice is also largely based in art activism with emerging technologies. He has a long record of international augmented reality work, ranging from “erasing” the DMZ battlements between North and South Korea (a piece he did on site), to the virtual elimination of the barricades between Palestine and Israel, at the Gaza Strip. He has created political works and symbols in a variety of locations across the United States, including pieces at Wall St., U.S. Mexico Border and the White House to name a few. Skwarek earned his M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design’s Digital Media Department. His artworks have been written about and reviewed by the New York Times, Art in America, Boing Boing, WIRED, the Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, NPR, BBC, Leonardo, and Creative Capital. Skwarek has exhibited in numerous international venues, including: the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; ISEA; Dumbo Arts Festival, UCLA Digital Grad Gallery; the CyberArts Festival; the Sunshine International Art Museum, Beijing; and the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois, FACT in Liverpool England, Siggraph 2013, The 2013 Augmented World Expo, and The Corcoran Gallery of Art.