You Be My Ally, a public art commission, is going to be hosted by the University of Chicago on October 5 on the campus of the university. Jenny Holzer, a UChicago Alumna, and many other world-renowned artists will perform in the event. It is the debut event hosted by the University. The event can be viewed by people through a web-based augmented reality app. Holzer and the students of the UChicago collaborated to create an augmented reality (AR) project. It is her first text-based artwork in the field of AR in the US.
Holzer earned the Rosenberger Medal of UChicago in 2019 for her exceptional work in the field of public art. The public art commission will include the excerpts from the UChicago’s core curriculum. The works of W. E. B. Du Bois, Helen Keller, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Plato, Merry Shelley, Virginia Woolf, and Friedrich Nietzche will be featured in the event.
If Not: Winter: Fragments of Sappho, a translation by Anne Carson, will be among the core readings of the event. The viewers of the art commission will be able to project and animate these texts on the UChicago building by using a free, web-based AR app. The users of the free app will also be able to project the excerpts on any of their surrounding buildings as well.
The app management will add more quotations to the app on October 30. The audiences will be able to get a chance to visit the UChicago campus, South Side, and other surrounding areas virtually from October 5 and 6. The texts from the Core curriculum will be displayed on LED trucks. They will be driven throughout the campus and surrounding areas. The UChicago students and faculty collaborated with Holzer to select text excerpts.
Christine Mehring, a professor in the Department of Art History, said, “I have admired Jenny Holzer’s resolute mobilization of viewer participation and unexpected media.” You be My Ally is a perfect combination of art and technology.