Moving Visions Credits


Moving Visions

Moving Visions, a digital public art project which examined issues of freedom post 9/11, was commissioned by the Virginia Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington County (home of the Pentagon) and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.  It was projected on public sites in Arlington for the 2 year anniversary of 9/11 and was shown at the County’s memorial event with the Kronos Quartet.  The project documented daily life in Arlington through the eyes of nine people, many of whom suffered in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.  Project participants donned wearcams while media artist Liz Canner filmed them as subjects.  The multiple video streams were edited into two films, which were then presented as large-scale outdoor video projections on public sites in Arlington.


Using September 11, 2001 as a marker of time, Moving Visions recognized the socio-political atmosphere as a new era of experience.  This epochal moment was particularly distinct in Arlington, an area affected by the 9/11 tragedy at the Pentagon, subsequent anthrax attacks and 2002 sniper shootings.  Over 40 community organizations were polled about the most important change they had witnessed in their community since 9/11 and almost all of them discussed freedom.

Freedom became the underlying theme of the project.  The theories of Harvard Sociologist Orlando Paterson provided some of the analytical framework.  The notion of individual freedom dates back to Ancient Greece.  The Greeks developed this concept in order to differentiate between citizens who were free and those who were enslaved.  Freedom is a word that permeates our national discourse more than in any other nation in the world.  But what do we mean when we use the term?  Where does one person’s freedom begin and another’s end?  Through seeing the world through the eyes of the Moving Visions wearcam participants, we witnessed their diverse experiences of freedom in post 9/11 Arlington.


Wearcam participants included: Sharifa Al-Khateeb, President of the North American Council for Muslim Women, Barry Amundson, co-founder of 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Réne Rivera, a homeless day laborer, Paul Ferguson, the highest elected official in Arlington county, and Fire Chief Raymond Blankenship, a first responder to the attack at the Pentagon.


One of the results of the project was unexpected.  Arlington had a large day laborer community that was not treated well by the county.  As part of Moving Visions, Paul Ferguson, the Arlington County Supervisor, and Réne Rivera, a homeless day laborer, filmed each other.  On camera, Rene told Paul about how he lost his job in construction and became homeless due to the downturn in the economy after 9/11.  He showed him where he slept under a bridge and the polluted brook where he brushed his teeth and bathed.  They each talked about their children.  Paul learned that Rene was sending a lot of the money he earned back home to his family in El Salvador.  He was deeply moved by the experience and vowed to build a shelter with shower facilities for the day laborers (which the county did within a year).


In addition to the site-specific projections, the project screened for a month in the McColl Center for Visual Art Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The sections of Moving Visions that reveal the persecution of Muslim/Arab Americans was excerpted for the Deep Dish TV series, Shocking and Awful, in a segment entitled “National Insecurities.”  The series aired this fall on Dish Network Satellite TV, and at film festivals in New York, Ohio, Texas and Colorado.  

Exhibitions and Screenings

9/11 memorial event with the Kronos Quartet

Arlington, VA, 2003

Large scale outdoor video projections on public sites in Arlington, VA

as part of the County’s 9/11 memorial, 2003

Excerpted in "Shocking and Awful" series

Deep Dish TV & Free Speech TV, 2004

Lubber Run Amphitheater

Arlington, VA, 2004

Installation, McColl Center for Visual Arts Gallery

Charlotte, NC, 2004

Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival

Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, 2005

Solo Exhibition, Brodigan Gallery

The Groton School, Groton, MA, 2005