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Friday, June 06, 2008


The Berwick Research Institute Presents...

Alumni John Ewing's Virtual Street Corners. A public art project connecting street corners in Coolidge Corner and Dudley Square for two solid weeks of 24/7, real-time, interaction.


Virtual Street Corners is a digital media public art project by John Ewing, assisted by Minotte Romulus with design by Matey Odonkor. It was developed durning a Berwick Reserach Institute residency period and is being presented in collaboration with the Roxbury Film Festival.

From June 12 - June 21, 2008 (with an "opening" on June 18, from 4-7pm) the storefronts of Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner, Brookline and Stash's Grill in Dudley Square, Roxbury will be transformed into large video screens, providing pedestrians of each neighborhood with a portal into one another's worlds. Running 24/7, life-size screen images and AV technology will enable real-time chat between residents of the two neighborhoods. Though only 2.4 miles apart and connected by the Route 66 bus, few people from either neighborhood ever visit the other. Using technology developed to bridge geographical distances, Virtual Street Corners instead traverses the social boundaries that separate two cultural and transportation hubs with important historical connections.

Some exchanges will be arranged - such as conversations among elected officials, youth groups, religious leaders and arts performances (including Ron Jones and Larry Tish of But the majority of the interactions will be left open to spontaneous conversations between passers-by and residents. Ewing hopes people will use Virtual Street Corners as an opportunity to share their personal experiences and reflections on their neighborhoods.
John Ewing is a digital media artist with a focus on public art that creates platforms for social dialogue. Local projects include Symphony of a City (which was covered by NPR, PBS, Art News and Fox TV among others-Boston Globe article attached). Symphony of a City portrayed Boston from 8 different perspectives by installing "headcams" on residents and projecting the resulting video footage 30 feet high on Boston City Hall and streaming it on the web. (

Virtual Street Corners was developed during a "Public Art Incubator" residency at The Berwick Research Institute, and supported by MIT Community Fund, Prudential Foundation and the Tomfohrde Foundation. Also thanks to ACT Roxbury and Councilor Chuck Turner.

A special thanks to Videre Conferencing for donating HD videoconferencing equipment; Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels LLP for legal advice;

Brookline Booksmith, Stash's Grill and Nuestra Comunidad for hosting the project.

Go to the opening if you can, or check it out over the next two weeks if you can't.
For more information or to schedule a more formal exchange on the Virtual Corner, contact John Ewing 857-719-4877, or

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