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
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.