Patriot Act Installation

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Created: 03/30/10
Last Edited: 12/04/12
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Description
The Patriot Act. Sculptural artist book created from the entire text of the US Patriot Act. 2008.
Displayed in front of and inside the Boston Public Library.

The Patriot Act not only raises fundemental civil rights issues but also the question of governmental transparency. Is it possible to be transparent when important legal changes affecting the Constitution are buried in a 342 page document written in obscure legal language? I did not want to tell viewers what to think about the Patriot Act. Rather I hoped that by simply presenting the Patriot Act as a physical, measurable object viewers would be able to engage with its import, participate in conversation and draw their own conclusions. Because of the size of the book when it is installed indoors, in particular, it impedes peoples ability to move freely in the space. They are forced to step over it or go around it. I find this appropriate.
  • The Patriot Act
    Sculptural artist book created from the entire text of the US Patriot Act. 2008.
     
    The Patriot Act not only raises fundemental civil rights issues but also the question of governmental transparency. Is it possible to be transparent when important legal changes affecting the Constitution are buried in a 342  page document written in obscure legal language? I did not want to tell viewers what to think about the Patriot Act.  Rather I hoped that by simply presenting the Patriot Act as a physical, measurable object viewers would be able to engage with its import, participate in conversation and draw their own conclusions.  Because of the size of the book when it is installed indoors, in particular, it impedes peoples ability to move freely in the space. They are forced to step over it or go around it. I find this appropriate.
  • Patriot Act Artist Book displayed in front of the Boston Public Library.
  • Talking with passersby.
  • Reading from the Patriot Act.
  • Patriot Act Artist Book displayed inside the Boston Public Library

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