ICAR News

Augmented Reality Art to Cover Smithsonian American History Museum with X Marks from Broken Treaties

“His X Mark” Among Four Augmented Reality Pieces goes live today to Highlight Corporate Influence and Government Malfeasance

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Four new augmented reality art pieces will be unveiled today on iconic Washington landmarks including the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, highlighting corporate and government abuse of people and the planet. Each groundbreaking art piece, commissioned by the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), will highlight four areas of corporate influence and government malfeasance: big agribusiness, the oil and gas industry, the private prison system, and the federal government’s history of violation of indigenous rights.

“Just like this artwork, corporate influence in Washington is invisible by design – we don’t see it unless we know where to look,” said ICAR Interim Executive Director David McKean. “Our mission at ICAR is to reveal what is hidden in Washington, and each of these four ambitious art installations shine an unflinching light on the broken institutions that are facilitating abuses of people and the planet.”

ICAR collaborated with the augmented reality art studio 4th Wall, as well as four BIPOC artists, to create the new art exhibits. Each is available for viewers to see in augmented reality for free by downloading the ICAR AR app. Each of the artists’ installations are geolocated at different iconic locations around Washington, D.C., all within walking distance of each other on or near the National Mall:

  • “What Octavia E. Butler saw when she landed on the site” by artist Stacy Lynn Waddell, depicts an emergency blanket over the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, symbolizing the rising climate temperatures from global warming. The piece depicts a massive AR blanket becoming more turbulent as the calendar years scroll forward, emphasizing the growing impact of climate change over time, and the fossil fuel industry’s increasingly brazen efforts over time to protect its bottom line through its massive political campaign spending and extensive lobbying operations.
  • In “His X Mark,” located in front of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the broken treaties between indigenous peoples and the U.S. government will be depicted by three-dimensional X marks rising over the museum. Diné artist Emma Robbins narrates the display by explaining that because the indigenous signers couldn’t read the English-language treaties, they were forced to sign only with X marks. Robbins’ father can also be heard reading a broken treaty in his native language.
  • In “Las Manos de Mis Padres” by Alfredo Salazar-Caro will be located at the front entrance of the the Department of Agriculture and will depict how big money and agribusiness corporate power dictate the treatment of agricultural workers, expand corporate farming and decimate rural communities.
  • The cruelty and profiteering of the prison labor system will be on display in “The Farm,” which will be geolocated directly in front of the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice building on Constitution Avenue. Documentary photographers Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick’s images from Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola of prisoners working in farm labor camps under the supervision of shotgun-wielding guards on horseback were taken in present times, but they clearly harken back to America’s history as a slave-labor economy.

 

“Working with 4th Wall, these artists have produced augmented reality artwork that is jaw-dropping in its technical achievement,” McKean said. “But these pieces are also much more than that. They are monuments to the oppressed, the underrepresented, and the forgotten, in a city that gives far too much power to corporations and provides far too few protections from corporate human rights abuses. ICAR is proud to stand with these artists in calling out those institutions that have abused their outsize power in Washington for far too long.”

ICAR advocates for government policies to get corporations out of government and prevent corporate human rights abuses, including the “For the People” Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, which would reform voting rights, stop corporations’ financial control of elections and end partisan gerrymandering. If you’d like to learn more about the campaign, visit

https://www.capitol-inc.org/

 

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The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) is a civil society organization that believes in the need for an economy that respects the rights of all people, not just powerful corporations. We harness the collective power of progressive organizations to push governments to create and enforce rules over corporations that promote human rights and reduce inequality. For more information, visit us: https://icar.ngo/

 

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