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Free and open to the public.

Join exhibiting artists Erin Johnson and Ken Ueno in an artist talk, performance, and walking conversation about their individual and collaborative work, particularly how place and histories drive their methodologies. Erin Johnson will talk about her exhibition Heavy Water in the Jepson Center and specifically discuss how her research into cold war politics and experiences gaining access to government research sites have informed her work over the past few years. The artist talk will be followed by a performance by Ken Ueno in the Jepson Center atrium titled Jepson Satellite.

As a group, we will then walk from the Jepson Center to the Cluskey Embankment Stores at Factor’s Walk built in 1842, adjacent to City Hall on the east along the Drayton Street Ramp. Along the walk, artists Johnson and Ueno will lead a public dialogue on how their art practices utilize, capitalize on, and challenge the stories people tell about a place, and continue to retell, through various methods. Once at the Cluskey “Vaults,” Ueno will discuss how he activates architecture as instruments through site-specific compositions.

This For Freedoms Artist-Led Town Hall conversation will be driven by Fear and Speech, particularly with regards to artistic and creative freedoms and public discourse.

Note: If the public response is large, Telfair Museums will host the artist talk in the Jepson Center Neises Auditorium, instead of the Levitt and Varnedoe Galleries. This event is free and open to the public. If you plan to walk to the Cluskey Embankment Stores, the walk is approximately ½ mile and involves stairs. There is no seating at the Cluskey Embankment Stores. The entire program will last 2 hours.

About Ken Ueno’s Jepson Satellite

In the Jepson Center, Ueno will activate the architecture of the atrium through a site-specific extended vocal performance with six snare drums and a megaphone. Ueno has developed a technique whereby he controls the frequency (pitch) that emits from his megaphone by changing the shape of his palette. By controlling the pitch of the feedback, Ueno can control the sympathetic activation of snare rattles, even while he is physically yards apart from a snare drum. In this way, the cadre of six snare drums that will surround Ueno in the atrium (visually, a kind of snare drum Stonehenge) will mark a ritual space, a middle ground between Ueno and the larger architecture of the Jepson Center. The sympathetic vibration of the snare drums makes palpable the invisible vibration of air molecules, like ghostly traces.

Program time: Approximately 20 minutes

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About For Freedoms and the 2018 50 State Initiative

“We believe that artists, and art, play an important role in galvanizing our society to do better. We are a hub for other artists, arts institutions, and activists who want to be more civically engaged.”

Founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, For Freedoms Federation encourages new forms of critical discourse. The medium is American democracy, and their mission is to support the effort to reshape it into a more transparent and representative form. For Freedoms produces exhibitions, installations, public programs, and billboard campaigns to advocate for equality, dialogue, and civic participation. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941)—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms Federation uses art to encourage and deepen public explorations of freedom in the 21st century.

The For Freedoms 50 State Initiative occurs during September–November 2018, and involves public programming, art exhibitions and public events with partner institutions and organizations across the country to encourage broad participation in civic discourse and, through lifting up a multiplicity of voices, to spark a national dialogue about art, education, advertising and politics.

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