old man reading text on brick, Wharf District Parks, Boston

Freedom of Information

Located within Boston’s historic (brick) core, and using the history of Boston as example, this kinetic, immersive, and site-specific art installation is a humorous commentary on our use and trust of the internet for learning.
The project makes tangible (physical) and spatial, the experience of unfiltered, virtual information found on the internet: the disconnected, true/false, incomplete, and tangential “facts” we are exposed to on a daily basis, that lead to chaotic, fictive, composite memories: a lot of time; a lot of data; a lot of spelling errors; a lack of a conclusion; gossip.
What do you remember from surfing the web? This is how we learn today.

Art Installation

  • + Rose Kennedy Greenway at Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA
  • + North End Parks, Boston, MA
  • + Shirley Eustis House, Roxbury, MA

For

Figment Boston + other public and historic sites

Dimensions

120 floating bricks, 4′-7′ tall over a 30′ x 50′ area

Materials

Balsa (wood), steel, paint

MORE IMAGES

woman and man reading text on brick against the brick building backdrop of Boston's North End, North End Parks, Boston
Located within Boston’s historic (brick) core, and using the history of Boston as example, this kinetic, immersive, and site-specific art installation is a humorous commentary on our use and trust of the internet for learning.
close up on individual brick with text
close up on individual brick with text
boy running through field of bricks, while older man photographs a brick in park, Wharf District Parks, Boston
The quotes on the bricks come from conducting a standard, typical search on the internet, starting with the key phrase “history of Boston” and evolving from there to information found in the initial discoveries (webpages), such as “Cambridge Agreement”, “puritan”, and so on, as they struck interest.
The project makes tangible (physical) and spatial, the experience of unfiltered, virtual information found on the internet: the disconnected, true/false, incomplete, and tangential “facts” we are exposed to on a daily basis, that lead to chaotic, fictive, composite memories: a lot of time; a lot of data; a lot of spelling errors; a lack of a conclusion; gossip.
man within field of bricks, reading a brick, against the background of one of the pergolas of the North End Parks detailed by Ioana Urma a decade earlier, Boston
lady reading text on brick, Wharf District Parks, Boston
man reading text on brick, Wharf District Parks, Boston
What do you remember from surfing the web? This is how we learn today.
field of floating bricks, Shirley Eustis Historic House, Roxbury, MA
close up on individual brick with text
close up on individual brick with text
Whatever information was found was placed on the bricks. Sometimes this information was true; other times it was false. Sometimes it had absolutely nothing to do with the subject (the history of Boston); other times it had a mere tangential relationship to it.
The quotes on the bricks come from conducting a standard, typical search on the internet, starting with the key phrase “history of Boston” and evolving from there to information found in the initial discoveries (webpages), such as “Cambridge Agreement”, “puritan”, and so on, as they struck interest.
man and woman each reading text on different bricks, North End Parks, Boston
older couple in field of bricks, looking and photographing, North End Parks, Boston
little boy and girl couple within field of bricks, Wharf District Parks, Boston
Whatever information was found was placed on the bricks. Sometimes this information was true; other times it was false. Sometimes it had absolutely nothing to do with the subject (the history of Boston); other times it had a mere tangential relationship to it.
field of floating bricks, Shirley Eustis Historic House, Roxbury, MA
little boy pulling brick down to read text on it, North End Parks, Boston
man reading and questioning text on bricks, Wharf District Parks, Boston

Work/Credits

Design & Photos: Ioana Urma. Fabrication: Ioana Urma, Zach Hoevet (stencil lasercutting help), & Josh Burgel (color check of bricks in Boston). Installation: Ioana Urma with help from Raluca Sisu (all sites), Dragos Diaconescu (Rowes Wharf), Figment volunteers (Rowes Wharf), Bogdan Urma (North End Parks), Randall Imai (North End Parks), & Narbey Derbekyan (Shirley Eustis House).