Not just fun and games: Federal Hall exhibition explores the Bill of Rights
BROOKLYN, New York, Monday, July 25, 2022 – Today, visitors to the Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City will encounter an interactive art project comprising games designed to bring elements of the Bill of Rights to life in an exhibition of immersive digital games. The project, “Shall Make, Shall Be: The Bill of Rights at Play,” which opened July 4, 2022 and runs through August 31 at the Federal Hall’s Grand Rotunda.
The exhibition, commemorating the 230th anniversary of the Bill of Rights through an interactive collection of works, comprises ten commissioned games, each addressing one of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. It was designed to involve visitors in ways to consider the underpinnings of what it means to be an American by re-framing the documents that serve as the foundation of U.S. political experience with familiar games — puzzles, arcade games, and popular video game genres, among others.
R. Luke DuBois, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Integrated Design & Media program at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, who conceived the project, said the works draw on the document’s effects, interpretations, and legal meanings in U.S. culture.
“The exhibition consists of critical games, using the mechanisms of play to interrogate, critique, and inform our understanding of civil liberties in the 21st Century,” he said.
The ten artists, game designers, and collectives selected through an open call to produce the games include: 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 exhibition was organized by DuBois with Laine Nooney, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at the NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, & Human Development; and John Sharp, Professor of Games and Learning at Parsons School of Design, with support from the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and Professor of Electronic Art at Carnegie Mellon University.
“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.
About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences as part of a global university, with close connections to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. NYU Tandon is rooted in a vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship, intellectual curiosity, and innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing global challenges. Research at Tandon focuses on vital intersections between communications/IT, cybersecurity, and data science/AI/robotics systems and tools and critical areas of society that they influence, including emerging media, health, sustainability, and urban living. We believe diversity is integral to excellence, and are creating a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable environment for all of our students, faculty and staff. For more information, visit engineering.nyu.edu.