Jeff York Town of Chapel Hill, Public Arts Administrator
UNBOUND is a permanent public art installation by Erik Carlson and Erica Carpenter for the Chapel Hill Public Library. This interactive, media-based artwork examines the contemporary public library as a place that simultaneously binds information – collecting, curating and keeping it safe – and unbinds it, by making it accessible and sharing it with the community. Visitors experience a series of glowing lenses arranged in patterns of Braille text; these lenses provide intimate views into the diverse content collected from the community, reflecting the town’s “hidden library” of history, culture and personal moments from the life of Chapel Hill.
The four cantilevered panels of UNBOUND are situated on a wide wall opposite the library's main circulation desk and surround the entry to the children's area, activating this very important space within the library. The video technology that runs the artwork is hidden within the walls.
The success of this project is a result of close collaboration with the library staff and art selection panel, who worked closely with the artists. Over 10,000 media clips were submitted by or collected from the community to populate the artwork's ever-changing content. The artists participated in two week-long artist residencies in Chapel Hill, which included more than a dozen sessions with local schools to introduce students to public art and to help them prepare their own submissions for the artwork.
MEDIA: Digital video images; glass lenses; custom art glass; custom software; computers; video screens; wood
DIMENSIONS: 6' H x 24' W x 4" D
ARTIST: Erik Carlson (with Erica Carpenter)
VIDEO CONTENT: Erik Carlson, Erica Carpenter Chapel Hill community submissions
PROGRAMMING: Jason Cipriani
FABRICATION: Nick Hollibaugh / Box Elder Studio
GLASS FABRICATION: Franz Mayer of Munich
UNBOUND - Chapel Hill Public Library
A short demo of UNBOUND, a new interactive public artwork.
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