Artist Corrects Inaccuracies At The George W. Bush Library With Augmented Reality

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tags: George W Bush, George W Bush Library



A presidential library is meant to be a celebration of the commander in chief's tenure. A capstone to a president's years in office, the libraries receive much fanfare surrounding the structure's design, but the contents of the public exhibitions aren't typically scrutinized the same way. Until now.

Ellen Chenoweth, an artist who primarily works in dance and choreography, noticed that the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas was fraught with omissions and took various liberties with his legacy. So she decided to correct the record with an augmented reality app. Visitors to the library can download a free app from Layar, point their smartphone at 10 "trigger images," and read a more balanced view of the information presented. For example, a panel about tax cuts Bush enacted framed the policy as being good for families and helping to usher in a period of economic growth, but it did not discuss the disproportional benefit to the top 1% of earners. Nor did it acknowledge the budget deficits that ensued following the cuts.

A couple of events inspired the George W. Bush–Presidential Library Augmented Reality Project. One of her friends, Adam Weinert, staged an AR dance installation at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Then Chenoweth's mother, who lives in Texas, visited the library and was horrified at the framing of Bush's presidency.




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