Imaging Beijing

Posted by | Tue Apr 1st 2008 5:15 p.m.


Turbulence Commission:
<a href=""><strong>Imaging Beijing</strong></a>
by <em>John (Craig) Freeman</em>
Part of the <a href="">Mixed Realities</a> exhibition, on view until April 15, 2008

<strong>Imaging Beijing</strong> is the latest installment of <em>Imaging Place</em>, a place-based, virtual reality project that combines panoramic photography, digital video, and virtual worlds to investigate and document situations where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. When a denizen of Second Life first arrives at <strong>Imaging Beijing</strong>, he, she or it can walk over a satellite image of central Beijing where they will find a networks of nodes constructed of primitive spherical geometry with panoramic photographs texture mapped to the interior. The avatar can walk to the center of one of these nodes and use a first person perspective to view the image, giving the user the sensation of being immersed in the location. A web-cam captures live video of the user and transmits it to the head of an exhibition avatar. Dated links in the virtual space launch a browser, which opens a web journal of the <strong>Imaging Beijing</strong> field research.

<strong><a href="">Teleport</a></strong> to <strong>Imaging Beijing</strong> in <a href="">Second Life</a>.


<a href="" target="_blank">John Craig Freeman's</a> work has been exhibited internationally including at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, the Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zurich, Eyebeam in New York, City, the Zacheta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki (the national gallery of Warsaw), Kaliningrad Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Russia, Art Basel Miami, Ciberart Bilbao and the Girona Video and Digital Arts Festival in Spain, La Biblioteca National in Havana, the Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, the Nickle Arts Museum in Calgary, the Center for Experimental and Perceptual Art (CEPA) in Buffalo, Art interactive, Mobius and Studio Soto in Boston, the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, Ambrosino Gallery in Miami, the Photographers Gallery in London, and the Friends of Photography's Ansel Adams Center in San Francisco.

In 1992 Freeman was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His writing has been published in Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure, as well as a chapter in the book Electronic Collaboration in the Humanities. His work has been reviewed in Wired News, Artforum, Ten-8, Z Magazine, Afterimage, Photo Metro, New Art Examiner, Time, Harper's and Der Spiegel. Lucy Lippard cites Freeman's work in her book The Lure of the Local, as does Margot Lovejoy in her book Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age.

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 an Associate Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston. The focus of his academic activities throughout the last decade has been to integrate computer technology and theory of electronic culture into visual art curriculum and to explore interdisciplinary approaches to education and technology.

<strong>Imaging Beijing</strong> is a 2007 commission of <a href="" target="_new">New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.,</a> (aka Ether-Ore) for its <a href="" target="_new">Mixed Realities</a> exhibition. It was made possible with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
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