Coordinates is an ongoing series of curated, collaborative and site specific AR public art exhibitions on the 4th Wall app. The most recent project is “BATTLEGROUNDS,” which will be activated across the city of New Orleans on October 26th, 2019, featuring works by 24 New Orleans-based artists and 30 artworks at different contested sites of their choosing. Coordinates was created out of my desire to use technology as a subversive form of resistance, and aims to inspire thoughtful dialogue and expand our understanding of public art.
Invited collaborating artists choose works of art to be translated into AR, where they would like it placed for its conceptual or historical significance, and/or its relationship to the artwork itself. Each artist is credited as their image appears onscreen. Additional artists and sites are added regularly, so make sure to check the News section of the app or the Coordinates page map for updates.
Julie Weitz “My Golem” (2018): Go to: The United Nations Building, New York City
Julie Weitz reimagines the Jewish myth of artificial intelligence as a contemporary female golem grappling with issues of anti-Semitism, gender inequality, xenophobia and digital culture. While golem literally means “shapeless mass” in Hebrew, Weitz’s heroine is a modern multitasker who fearlessly jumps between cinematic, artistic and theatrical traditions including Yiddish theater, silent film, feminist performance art, slapstick comedy and drag. Her facile Jewish imagination illuminates the injustices of our time while fashioning a spiritual reservoir for hope and survival. At the United Nations Headquarters, My Golem lifts the world up as a reminder that the UN’s mission is to maintain international peace and promote human rights for all people.
Michele Asselin “Daughters” (2018): Go to: The Department of Justice, and the Reflecting Pool Opposite the United States Capitol, Washington, DC
The image “Daughters” (2018) is a photograph of two young girls whose father had recently been deported. The girls stand at the center of the conversation about immigration and family separation. The deportation of undocumented immigrants has long been a policy of the U.S., leaving children behind in the foster care system. In 2017, the Trump administration both increased the deportations and began sending children to government detention centers, not homes. Between October 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018 over 2700 families were separated. AS OF TODAY, MORE THAN 13,000 CHILDREN ARE BEING DETAINED IN CAMPS WITHOUT THEIR FAMILIES.
“Daughters” hovers over the reflecting pool on the west side of the National Mall in Washington D.C., blocking the view of the Capitol Building while not reflecting itself, leaving an inverted Capitol beneath. The second image flies one mile away in the sky over the Department of Justice. Like a flag, it reminds us of the many participants required to establish and execute the administration’s policies.”
More on Michele’s work: http://micheleasselin.com
Shizu Saldamando “Raqui and Tongson, Smogcutter Karaoke” (2011): Go to Echo Park Lake, Los Angeles, CA. Best vantage from the shore, left of the boathouse
“This piece is an homage to my friends and homage to the friendship between Raquel Gutierrez and Karen Tongson. They both love to Karaoke (as do I ) and this night we all joined Karen at her favorite Karaoke spot and local bar, the Smogcutter (hence the title of the piece (Raqui and Tongson, Smogcutter Karaoke). The Smogcutter was a historic dive bar in Echo park. Karen, who is a karaoke academic (literally a tenured professor of popular culture at USC who has written on karaoke and produces event nights for CAA surrounding the activity) was a regular there and on a first name basis with the owners staff. She was the unofficial mayor of Smogcutter karaoke nights and would roll through with a large crowd at times. I was moved by her passion for this activity and seeing the camaraderie between two people getting lost in their singing. The Smogcutter was closed and sold a couple years ago I think. I’m not sure what it is now but I thought it fitting to honor Echo Park resident Karen, and her friend Raquel with this piece in the most iconic Echo Park location that is the lake.”
More on Shizu’s work: https://www.metro.net/about/art/artists/saldamando/
Shizu Saldamando “Carm’s Crew,” (2009): Go to the Hully Gully Club parking lot, 9559 Imperial Hwy, Downey, CA. Best vantage from across the street from the club.
“I feel like my works fits really well into this project because of its site specificity to the people and specific locations in Los Angeles. The piece ‘Carm’s Crew” is placed next to the Hully Gully because that is where I first met Carm, her sister and then Rocky- all painted in the piece. Carm is someone who I kept running into when ever I would go there and we’ve been best friends since. They are all Downey natives and we would frequent the Hully Gully in the late 90s for rockabillty shows and random 80s/rock en español nights. The Hullygully is still going and still hosts 80s/goth and rockabilly nights for people from around the area. There are always seasoned regulars holding it down at the bar and younger generations out on the dance floor. I haven’t been there in a while but I always have fond memories of drunk dancing there and meeting friends for life.”
Tanya Aguiñiga “Impotence Incarnate” (2017): Go to: Border Wall, Playas de Tijuana, MEXICO, best view from the Tijuana beach, at the border wall
About her piece and site, Aguiñiga states, “This piece refers to my impotent and shaky grip in my attempt to reconcile the work we are doing along the border and take ownership of this physical and emotional space. The border fence, especially this particular stretch of fence, has haunted my memories, as it was absent most of my childhood and left a marked scar on my small town of Playas de Tijuana when it was installed. The fence is a permanent reminder that we are not wanted, that we are less than, that we are what gets filtered out. It is a stigma we invisibly carry the rest of our lives, as we find out place in the world navigating the liminal.”
More on Tanya’s work: http://www.tanyaaguiniga.com
Beatriz Cortez “Tzolk’in” (2018): Go to: Bowtie Project Los Angeles, CA. Best view roughly halfway into Bowtie Project, across the LA river from Spoke Cafe.
Tzolk’in is a site specific sculpture by LA-based artist Beatriz Cortez at the Bowtie Project, produced by Clockshop. Inspired by a Maya ancient 260-day agricultural calendar, that follows Tzolk’in a hypocycloid motion to mark time through a movement that is both linear and cyclical. This motion, which throughout history has been linked to the cosmos, biology, industrialization, and spirituality. Conceptually, the piece explores ideas about simultaneity, nomadism, ancient and contemporary modernities and technologies, and posthuman imaginaries.
Tzolk’in was created as a two-part project. Cortez created a second sculpture for the Made in L.A. 2018 biennial at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Together, the sculptures’ contrasting locations — a museum setting in Westwood and a former railyard in Glassell Park — invite audiences to reflect on the different realities that exist in these disparate parts of the city, as well as the ways these locations may be connected, and the broken bonds of communication that reach through time and space.
Tzolk’in Memorial for Claudia Gómez González was originally conceived by LA-based artist Beatriz Cortez as a site specific sculpture that was originally installed at the Bowtie Project facing the in Los Angeles River on the same week of Claudia’s murder. Inspired by the Maya ancient 260-day agricultural calendar, Tzolk’in is placed here above the Rio Grande in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, in the vicinity of her murder, to honor her life, the knowledge that her ancestors left us, and her cosmic travels. This motion, which throughout history has been linked to the cosmos, biology, industrialization, and spirituality. Conceptually, the piece explores ideas about simultaneity, nomadism, ancient and contemporary modernities and technologies, and posthuman imaginaries.
Beatriz Cortez “Tzolk’in Memorial to Claudia Gómez González” (2018): Go to: Parque Viveros, Nuevo Laredo, MEXICO Note: on May 23, 2018,Claudia Gómez González was killed by a Customs and Border Protection Agent while crossing the Rio Grande in an area nearby.
More on Beatriz’s work: https://beatrizcortez.com
Kenturah Davis: “Both” (2016): Go to the Great Pyramid of Giza, EGYPT
Of “Both” above the Pyramid, Kenturah writes: “This drawing brackets a liminal space with the quasi-mirrored image. The space in between points to a space of mystery, while the portraits are rendered with writing. I chose a pyramid because it is a site that functioned as a transitional/liminal space. While there is so much we’ve learned about them there’s there also seems to be obscured information and, furthermore, knowledge that is completely a mystery to us. I think the way I made the drawing runs parallel to that: layered text to the point of illegibility, a binary opposition that could refer to life and death, with the space in between that connects the two.”
More on Kenturah’s work: http://www.kenturah.com
Micol Hebron“Eminent Domain” (2018): Go to: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Micol writes,”Eminent Domain” was created specifically for Coordinates, to be placed above Dodger Stadium. Juxtaposing the patriotic American Bald eagle, with the snake-eating eagle from the coat of arms on the Mexican flag, “Eminent Domain” calls attention to the history of the land where Dodger Stadium now sits. Between 1951 and 1961 the area known as Chavez Ravine was a battleground for urban development, resulting in the eviction of over 1800 families. These predominantly Mexican American families resided in neighborhoods known as La Loma, Palo Verde, and Bishop. Initially, the City of LA had planned to build a public housing development in this area, to be designed by the modernist, Austrian architect Richard Neutra. After the evictions occurred, newly elected LA mayor Norris Poulson opposed public housing projects as being ‘socialist’, and the land sat empty, with the exception of a few resistant families (notably, Manuel and Abrana Arechiga and their daughter Aurora Vargas), for years. At the end of the 1950s it was decided that the area would be the site of Dodger Stadium. Sixty years later, in contemporary Los Angeles, and especially in central, southern, and eastern Los Angeles neighborhoods (such as Boyle Heights, for example), debates about gentrification are active. For whom is this “the land of the free”?”
Inspiration for the work:
Debra Scacco “The President Wilson, 1928” (2018): Go to: The waters by the Statue of Liberty, includes sound. Best views from free Staten Island Ferry, and Battery Park, NYC NOTE: This work includes sound, a segment of an interview from the Ellis Island Oral History Project. Please tap the sound icon for the full experience!
Scacco’s work uses historical material from the Ellis Island archives to examine the liminal space of the immigrant journey: in which the future of the individual confronts the reality of politics and power. The key vantage point of The President Wilson, 1928 is the Staten Island Ferry (waters immigrants would have traveled), with additional viewing points at former immigration stations (Ellis Island, Battery Park). The piece places viewer at the heart of the experience, inspiring empathy for individuals willing to risk it all to cross a border for a better life.
More on Debra Scacco’s work: http://www.debrascacco.com
Nancy Baker Cahill “Hurt Colors” (2018): Go to: Las Vegas Village, best view from open lot next to “Las Vegas Village” across from Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
I placed my own painting through #Coordinates, “Hurt Colors,” in Las Vegas, NV to honor the 58 people killed and 851 injured (422 with gunshot wounds) on October 1, 2017 at the Rt. 91 Harvest Music Festival. In a news cycle that prompts forgetting, I wanted to remember. Despite any public information on the shooter’s motives, the largest mass shooting in the US has been deemed a “closed case.” I hope to further dialogue around epidemic gun violence, vulnerability, resilience, and the small, unseen acts of heroism that occur through and after tragedies as well.