Free Speech Zone
We installed Free Speech Zone in 2004 in the second-floor mezzanine of the Brooklyn Public Library Main Branch at Grand Army Plaza.
The installation consisted of two electronic triptychs, measuring 12 ft wide and 3 ft high. We photographed portraits of library users blindfolded on site at the library. Their images book-ended an LED zipper sign that displayed passages and titles from censored and challenged books.
To bring attention to the issue of censorship, we reinstalled Free Speech Zone in September, 2005, in the front entrance of the Donnell Library Center during Banned Book Month.
In addition to the installation, we organized a reading of challenged books in collaboration with PEN American Center and the National Coalition Against Censorship. Judy Blume, Deborah Hautzig, Robert Lipsyte, Walter Dean Myers, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Peter Sis, Rita Williams-Garcia read from their challenged and censored books.
This was the first live event streamed over the internet by a branch library of the NYPL. You can see it here: Free Speech Zone reading.
Passersby would stop to read statements and titles from challenged and banned books.
View from across West 53 Street in front of MoMA.