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Art Production Fund, Nancy Baker Cahill, Boston MA, Charleston SC, Selma AL, Philadelphia PA, Washington DC, Rockaway Beach, Queens
Photograph: Joy Asico/BFA.com, courtesy Art Production Fund

You can view this cool augmented reality artwork in six different cities

Just download an app and point your smartphone to hear "Liberty Bell" ring out reflections on freedom.

By
Howard Halle
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Though coronavirus cases may be surging in certain parts of the country, states are still reopening and Americans are beginning to travel to favorite destinations IRL. That means fewer people are staying home to take in all of those virtual vacations and tours that kept eyeballs glued to computer screens during the height of the pandemic.

Now, an artist named Nancy Baker Cahill has developed an app-based public artwork that allows you to combine virtual experiences with actual trips to real places associated with America's historical fights for freedom.

Art Production Fund, Nancy Baker Cahill, Boston MA, Charleston SC, Selma AL, Philadelphia PA, Washington DC, Rockaway Beach, Queens
Photograph: Darian DiCianno/BFA.com, courtesy Art Production Fund

Commissioned by the Art Production Fund, in partnership with 7G Foundation and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, "Liberty Bell," which takes its name from the iconic Revolutionary War symbol, launched on July 4 and employs augmented-reality technology and GPS to overlay a 360-degree animated drawing onto specific-site locations in six different cities: Boston (along Fort Point Channel), Charleston (across from Fort Sumter), Selma (at the Edmund Pettus Bridge), Philadelphia (in front of the steps of Philadelphia Museum), Washington DC (at the Washington Monument) and Rockaway Beach in Queens.

By using Cahill's free 4th Wall app, you can point your smartphone or tablet at a designated spot to access the animation, which is accompanied by the sound of a ringing bell. The image itself is made up of textured brushstrokes that tangle and untangle in a form that swings back and forth like a bell or billows like a sail in the wind.

You can get a better idea of how it all looks by checking out the below videos of the app in action in D.C. and Rockaway. You can also find more information about the project here.

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