Commemorating the Bill of Rights with fun and games
Federal Hall National Memorial will commemorate the 230th anniversary of the Bill of Rights in an unexpected way: with an exhibition of games. “Shall Make, Shall Be: The Bill of Rights at Play'' will open in Federal Hall’s Grand Rotunda July 4, 2022 and remain through August 31. To stay informed, please join our mailing list.
The exhibition includes ten commissioned games, each treating one of the first ten amendments to the US Constitution. Ten artists, game designers, and collectives were selected through an open call to produce games about individual amendments to the Constitution: arts.codes (Melissa F. Clarke and Margaret Schedel); Peter Bradley; Danielle Isadora Butler; Arnab Chakravarty, Moaw!, and Ian McNeely; Cherisse Datu and Latoya Peterson; Ryan Kuo; Andy Malone; Shawn Pierre, Vi Trinh; and Lexa Walsh.
The initiative makes space for artists to engage an explicitly polemical curatorial question: how can we use play to investigate, problematize, and re-frame the documents that serve as the foundation of U.S. political experience? Presented as interactive installations, the artists’ games take familiar forms—puzzles, arcade games, and popular video game genres, among others. Unlike many games, the exhibited works provide visitors to Federal Hall with a unique opportunity to consider the underpinnings of what it means to be an American.
The “Shall Make, Shall Be: The Bill of Rights at Play” exhibition was organized by three New York City academics, with material support from Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, and The New School’s Parsons School of Design: R. Luke DuBois, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Integrated Design & Media program at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, who conceived of the initiative; Laine Nooney, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, & Human Development; and John Sharp, Professor of Games and Learning at Parsons School of Design at The New School. A fourth educator, Golan Levin, Co-Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and Professor of Electronic Art at Carnegie Mellon University, serves as executive producer of the project.
“Shall Make, Shall Be: The Bill of Rights at Play” is co-presented at Federal Hall with the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on Shall Make, Shall Be, please fill out this form, or reach out to the individuals below.
Federal Hall: Renee Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York University: Karl Greenberg, email@example.com
The New School: Will Wilbur, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carnegie Mellon University: Golan Levin, email@example.com
... Which By Their Very Utterance ...
Lexa Walsh makes projects, exhibitions, publications and objects, employing social engagement, institutional critique, radical hospitality and community building. Her upbringing as the youngest child of fifteen informs her work, as does practicing collectivity while coming of age in the post-punk scene of the 1990’s Bay Area. Embedded in her practice, she works as an arts laborer, organizer, curator and archivist. Walsh has founded or co-founded several arts platforms, including the Heinz Afterworld Lounge, an experimental music venue; Toychestra, an all-women, all-toy instrument ensemble; Oakland Stock, a branch of the Sunday Soup crowdfunding network; and most recently, the Bay Area Contemporary Arts Archive, a platform for the preservation of arts ephemera. Walsh has also worked as an artist-in-residence and/or curator at a variety of arts institutions, including a term as Social Practice Artist-in-Residence at the Portland Art Museum, and several years as a curator and administrator at CESTA, a Czech art center. She holds an MFA from Portland State University’s Art & Social Practice program and a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts.
Andy Malone holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy, and has worked in the exhibit design and custom furniture industry for over 25 years. Notable clients include Google, Twitch, Konami, Salesforce, Dolby, LG, Dodge, HP, T-Mobile, and Bethesda Games. His playable sculptures and games have been shown in over 75 exhibitions since 1995, including two recent solo exhibitions: Play Room (2017) and Happy Accidents (2019). As a curator of game arts, Malone co-organized Game Show Detroit (2006) at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit and Game Show NYC (2011) at Columbia University. Malone also curated the Bravo! Bravo! Art Exhibition at the Detroit Opera House in 2004 and 2005. Malone currently serves as Vice President of HATCH, an interdisciplinary arts center in Hamtramck, Michigan.
Cyber Soldiers in Cyber Houses
Vi Trinh works in digital and traditional media to examine the relationship between ecological and social patterns. A Vietnamese-American artist based in Washington, DC, Trinh graduated from the University of Richmond in 2019 with a B.A. in Visual and Media Arts Practice & Leadership. She is currently a MFA Fine Arts candidate at Goldsmiths University of London. Much of Trinh’s work is based in and on the Internet. Through her interactive digital art, Trinh explores dynamics of power and control, freedom and restraint, and how they manifest in networked media. Themes in Trinh’s work include aesthetics in ecological emergency; new temporal realities created by very large-scale phenomena; and the contradiction between the Internet as a seemingly free and democratic space, and the reality of the Internet as a site of exclusionary design, extractive corporatization, technologized colonialism, and the perpetuation of white supremacy.
Cherisse Datu and Latoya Peterson
Cherisse Santa Cruz Datu was raised on the island of Guam. A first-generation Filipino American, she was born to Kapangpangan parents who, despite not playing games themselves, fostered her love for them—perhaps because her Gameboy kept her quiet during long car rides. She is currently a video producer at Bethesda Softworks. She previously worked in video at ESPN’s The Undefeated and Al Jazeera’s The Stream. Datu received her Masters in Game Design and her Bachelor's in Film and Media Arts from American University. A video producer with a background in broadcast news editing and digital entertainment, she finds comfort in creating small forms of playable art to help process current events.
Latoya Peterson lives at the intersection of emerging technology and culture. She is currently cofounder and CXO at Glow Up Games, a game studio working on their first title set in the world of HBO’s Insecure. Previously, she was the Deputy Editor, Digital Innovation for ESPN's The Undefeated, an Editor-at-Large at Fusion, and the Senior Digital Producer for The Stream, a social media driven news show on Al Jazeera America. In 2018, she soft launched AI in the Trap, a collaborative art project that explores the future of artificial intelligence and predictive policing through a hip-hop lens. In 2016, she produced a critically acclaimed YouTube series on Girl Gamers that was highlighted on Spotify. She is currently on the advisory board of the Data & Society Institute and the board of visitors for The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships. She is a US-Japan Leadership Foundation Fellow and a USC Civic Media Senior Fellow. She is also part of the selection committee for the Museum of Play’s World Video Game Hall of Fame.
___ vs ___
Shawn Pierre is a Visiting Assistant Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center and game designer working to combine new forms of play with different types of media. His work includes voice-controlled adventure games, social deduction SMS games, and physical games where players capture others in nets. In the past, Shawn has created and worked on crowd-based interactive activities, including installments at Graceland, as well as games for major sporting events. As a member and Project Director of Philly Game Mechanics, Shawn works to build a community where local creators meet new people and share their creative work.
Peter Bradley is a conceptual artist, whose recent work is about computers and metaphysics. Applied first to music and the concept of keys, and now to language and the notion of semantic similarity, his practice aims to test the limits of computation, to capture the meaning of an idea as its being is reduced to quantity. He lives in New York City and tours as a member of Japanese Breakfast.
Arnab Chakravarty, Moaw!, and Ian McNeely
Arnab Chakravarty is a designer, technologist and educator with a background in building interfaces for communities overlooked by dominant technology platforms. Previously, he worked as an ethnographer and designer in several multinational organizations; at NYU ITP, his interests have focused on living with the things that he makes, creating immersive experiences for co-liberation, and discovering what makes people touch things. His work has been shown at venues including FAB:Learn, No:Quarter, Bengaluru MakerFaire, Kochi Biennale, and NYC Media Lab.
Ian McNeely holds an MFA in Theater Arts from Brown University, where he wrote and produced a series of original rock operas. McNeely was awarded the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2009 Rex Rabold Fellowship and delivered the keynote speech at their annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser The Daedalus Project. He is the founder and artistic director of Broken Ghost Immersives, which produces theatrical events inspired by games.
Moaw! is a video game developer specializing in pixel art. They work to build creative communities through game development, bridging dialogues between STEM and art, and have worked professionally with many companies to make games and pixel-art advertisements. Outside of commercial work, they design open-source game development assets and engage in accessible education initiatives such as workshops and events through RVA Game Jams and Tutorial Stage. More recently, they were working as a remote-education consultant for CodeVA and you can discover more about their work at moaw.art.
Cruel and Unusual: Evolving Standards of Decency
Danielle Isadora Butler designs experiences, installations, and objects that create new opportunities for emotional connection. She has designed and produced playgrounds that teach about cooperation, multi-sensory poetry archives that encourage deep listening, and large-scale games that connect participants to their locales. Her skills in human-centered design extend from a background that combines arts education, creative technology, and restorative justice. Butler believes that building relationships is the key to engaging people in issues that feel too large or abstract to comprehend. She is especially passionate about improving access to water and using creative interventions to deepen New Yorkers’ relationship to their harbors. She is co-founder of both the Tideland Institute and the Awesome On The Water organization, which support cultural initiatives on New York waters.
Ryan Kuo creates works that are process-based, diagrammatic, and caught in a state of argument. He uses video games, productivity software, web design, and text to produce circuitous and unresolved movements that track the passage of objects through white escape routes. He holds a Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology from MIT, and has held residencies at Pioneer Works and the Queens Museum Studio Program. Kuo’s works have been shown in venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Queens Museum, TRANSFER, and bitforms gallery, and are distributed online at left gallery. His recent and forthcoming projects include File: A User’s Manual, an artist’s book about aspirational workflows modeled after software guides for power users; and Faith, a conversational AI agent that zealously embodies the blind “faith” underpinning both white supremacy and miserable white liberalism.
Kuo lives and works in New York City. He is not a programmer.
arts.codes is an artist collective and open-source distribution platform, co-directed by Margaret Schedel and Melissa F. Clarke, that celebrates art with computational underpinnings.
Melissa F. Clarke is a Brooklyn-based educator, designer, and artist working at the intersections of data, science, and design. In her work, she extrapolates interdisciplinary research into multimedia installations, generative environments, audiovisual sculptures, performances, and printed images. A graduate of NYU ITP, Clarke has taught media arts at SUNY Stony Brook, and has participated in residencies at Pioneer Works, the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, and Visible Future Labs at SVA.
Margaret Schedel transcends the boundaries of disparate fields to produce integrated work at the nexus of computation and the arts. With an interdisciplinary career blending classical training in cello and composition, digital audio research, and computational arts education, she is internationally recognized for the creation and performance of ferociously interactive media. Her research in the sonification of gesture and data takes form in interactive opera, VR, and video games. Schedel is professor and co-director of computer music at SUNY Stony Brook.
Deborah Archer (New York University, President of the American Civil Liberties Union)
Monica C. Bell (Yale University)
Jennifer Carlson (University of Arizona)
Erwin Chemerinsky (University of California, Berkeley)
Jessica M. Eaglin (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Keramet Reiter (University of California, Irvine)
Sharon E. Rush (University of Florida)
Michael Shammas (Tulane University)
Nabiha Syed (The Markup)
Suja A. Thomas (University of Illinois)
Alexander Zhang (Yale University)
Deborah Archer (NYU Law)
Salome Asega (Ford Foundation)
Shana T Bryant (Game Developer)
R. Luke DuBois (New York University) ex officio chair
Jessica Hammer (Carnegie Mellon University)
Elizabeth Joh (UC Davis Law)
Laine Nooney (New York University)
Paolo Pedercini (Carnegie Mellon University)
John Sharp (The New School)
Astria Suparak (Independent Curator)
R. Luke DuBois (NYU): artistic director
Laine Nooney (NYU): editorial director, selection committee member
John Sharp (TNS): curation and exhibition director, selection committee member
Developed with production support from the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO For Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.
The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University supports atypical, anti-disciplinary, and inter-institutional research at the intersections of the arts, science, technology, and culture. Since 1989, the STUDIO has served as a flexible laboratory for new modes of arts research, production and presentation, providing opportunities for learning and dialogue that lead to the redefinition of the role of artists in a quickly changing world. Artists affiliated with the STUDIO work at the frontiers of diverse fields such as virtual and augmented reality, interactive robotic installation, generative art, software art, biological art, space art, tactical media, experimental interaction design, relational art, and other forms of cultural instigation. Building on Carnegie Mellon’s historic strengths in game design and entertainment technology, the STUDIO has also supported a wide range of creators working in the fields of playable art and critical game-making.
It is in this spirit that the STUDIO is proud to support Shall Make, Shall Be as part of its mission. Today, our rights and responsibilities as citizens are being contested as never before. Evolving interpretations of the Constitution both reflect and perturb a rapidly changing world, impacting everything from the fabric and daily life of American society, to our survival as individuals and even as a species. Meanwhile, accelerated by the COVID pandemic, games have overtaken the global film industry, and also broken through to “serious” credibility as a mode of critical and contemporary art practice. The Shall Make, Shall Be project—straddling contemporary art, game design, popular media, social activism, and constitutional law—is precisely the type of adventurous and interdisciplinary investigation that the STUDIO exists to foster.
Resources on the Bill of Rights
Transcript of the Bill of Rights
A transcript of the Bill of Rights and other constitutional documents is available on the website of the national archives. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript
The Interactive Constitution
The interactive Constitution on the website of the national Constitution Center. Clicking through the amendments will take you into both common interpretations and major debates. https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/the-constitution
The More Perfect Podcast
A RadioLab podcast series featuring creative takes on understanding the Bill of Rights. https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolabmoreperfect
Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The Right to Bear Arms
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The Housing of Soldiers
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Unreasonable Search and Seizure, Warrants, Probable Cause
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Due Process, Self-Incrimination, Eminent Domain
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Rights of Defendents in Criminal Trial
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Rights in Civil Cases
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive Bails, Fines, or Punishment
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Additional Fundamental Rights of People
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Separation of Powers and Federalism
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.