2004, neon, velvet, the U.S.A. Patriot Act, The Library Bill of Rights
Patriot Act is an impassioned and sublime installation that explores our country's shifting personal and constitutional liberties. Renwick's piece consists of neon words installed in the library cases. The words emanate a meditative, ethereal glow and shift in and out of legibility depending upon one's perspective. Renwick's work foregrounds critical discourse concerning our access to and personal control over information and experience.
In Patriot Act, Vanessa specifically references the Rights of Library Users:
The Library Bill of Rights affirms the ethical imperative to provide unrestricted access to information and to guard against impediments to open inquiry. Article IV states: "Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas." When users recognize or fear that their privacy or confidentiality is compromised, true freedom of inquiry no longer exists. Adopted June 19, 2002, by the ALA. Council.
See Case Works for more info on the original incarnation of this installation which was commissioned by Stephanie Snyder at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery /Reed College.
See The Prelinger Library for the current red-hot resting place for this piece above its' entry door.