America needs the ghosts of slavery to remind us of how our nation was really built.- Marcus Brown
Augmented Reality (AR) Slavery Trails by Marcus Brown Augmented Reality (AR) Slavery Trails are site-specific AR Sculptures created by Artist Marcus Brown to virtually mark areas where enslaved people were held, sold, and worked in the United States. The interactive Augmented Reality (AR) sculpture series present figures representing enslaved peoples during the chattel slavery period in the United States. Brown's project begins with the placement of virtual sculptures only visible by smartphone or smart devices. The first sculptures in this series depict the artist Marcus Brown as a enslaved person standing on the neutral ground or street median located on the corner of Chartres Street and Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans. This is the same median where Solomon Northup was sold as a slave over 180 years ago. Each of Brown’s self-portrait sculptures will be presented and digitally sold from his website for the modern-day price of a domestic slave from the 1840s. Brown’s goal is to use the proceeds from each sculpture sold to fund a national project that creates more markers around the country.
Thank you from the artist!
Thank you to everyone who made the June 20th 2022 sculpture unveiling possible.
Special thanks to WWNO University of New Orleans 89.9FM, Marigny Opera House, www.nola.com, Laura Sirkin-Brown, Mona Duffel Jones, Dr. Marcus Rediker, Andrew Bertholf, Glenn S. Gordinier, RJ Lavallee, Discovering Amistad, Mystic Seaport Muesum, Daniel W. McElmurray, parks and parkways department of New Orleans and many others for your support!
AR Slavery Trails is a self-funded project I created. If you would like to support AR Slavery Trails please donate to me with the link below. Any support is greatly appreciated and will be used to fund more sculptures in more locations.- Marcus Brown
DONATE GO FUND ME AR SLAVERY TRAILS
Augmented Reality (AR) Slavery Trails are site-specific AR Sculptures created by Artist Marcus Brown to virtually mark areas where enslaved people were held, sold, and worked in the United States. The interactive Augmented Reality (AR) sculpture series present figures representing enslaved peoples during the chattel slavery period in the United States. The Marcus Brown slave artist No. series is meant to fund the projects development. This project is self-funded by the artist Marcus Brown.
How to Experience the AR Slavery Trails ?
1. Download the Ar Adobe Aero App on your smart device using the following address:
Adobe Aero app
2. You do not need to sign up or sign in. The app just needs to be on your device/phone/tablet.
3. Open your camera on your smartphone and scan the QR code labeled AR Slavery Trails.
4. Once the Augmented Reality (AR) Slavery Trails Project loads, “anchor” it to the plaque.
5. Tap the AR enslaved people to activate the music and animations connected to the project.
About the Marcus Brown slave artist No. series
The first series of sculptures are self-portraits designed to present myself as a product. As a multimedia artist and fabricator who works many types of traditional crafts. I chose to create physical iron objects to in my performances and also to gain a better understanding of the brutality experience by the enslaved. I forged an iron collars using steel and I played my Alto-Saxophone to create sound samples. These samples are played by tapping my AR self-portraits. In many instances the enslaved blacksmiths were and instructed to make irons for other enslaved people. Also, if an enslaved person was able to provide musical entertainment they were also instructed to perform.
The Marcus Brown slave artist No. series are custom AR sculptures and digital prints. Each of these are a custom sound interactive AR sculpture model and a 16” x 16” digital archival print made of 100% recycled premium grade aluminum available for sale for the price of an enslaved person during the 1840-1845 time period. These sound interactive AR sculptures are self portraits just like the ones found at the Esplanade Ave & Chartres St.New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade historical marker in New Orleans. The Marcus Brown slave artist No. series pricing is based on data presented in the paper titled Measuring Slavery in 2020 Dollars by Samuel H. Williamson and Louis P. Cain.
I created these to help people visualize figuratively the concept of human beings as commodities. In the New Orleans French Quarter it is hard to find a structure that has not been touched or built by enslaved hands. America needs the ghosts of slavery to remind us of how our nation was really built. The idea behind the infusion of new age technology with history and art is to get the attention of today's audiences who may not know the truth or who may be uncomfortable with it. America did not pull itself up by its bootstraps. It was built on stolen land with enslaved labor. Just as there are people living today who have benefitted and inherited the spoils of free labor, descendants of those laborers are still marginalized, and their contributions diminished. The Augmented Reality (AR) Slavery Trails are a way of connecting the public to the lost stories of the enslaved.
Future Slavery Trails
Passage ( middle Passage)
Passage is a musically interactive mixed reality sculpture trail based on slave ships and enslaved people. The artwork titled Passage or Middle Passage is a geotagged musically interactive augmented reality (AR) sculpture installation series based on slave ships and enslaved peoples. The title Passage or Middle Passage refers to the section of the historical triangular trade route between Europe, Africa and the Americas. It allowed for the forced transport of African slaves from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Most of the African slaves brought to the Americas at that time were transported through this route on ships in extremely dehumanizing conditions. One of the main ports used for slave trade was in New Orleans. Brown designed the series to educate the public about the Middle Passage and the treatment of the enslaved. Music and singing was one element which could not be controlled by the captors. The artwork focuses on taking the public through the tightly packed slave deck areas using Augmented reality (AR) as well as his own custom proximity based musical interactive technology to tell a story of the Middle Passage.
The MeasuringWorth Foundation
New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade THE HISTORICAL MARKER DATABASE
Location: Esplanade Ave & Chartres St New Orleans, LA 70116
(front side) In 1808, the US Congress abolished the international slave trade, contributing to a significant increase in the domestic slave trade, or the trafficking of human beings within the boundaries of the United States. During the fifty-seven years that followed, an estimated 2 million men, women, and children were separated from families and forcibly moved by slave traders and owners. The largest numbers were brought from the Upper South to the Lower South via overland and water routes. New Orleans was the center of this trade, resulting in more than fifty documented sites. More enslaved people were sold here from slave pens, public squares, government buildings, church properties, city taverns, private residences, auction houses, and even ballrooms of luxury hotels than anywhere else in the US.
Within a one-block radius of this marker were the New Orleans offices, showrooms, and slave pens of over a dozen slave trading firms, including Franklin, Armfield, and Ballard, Hope New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade Marker (<i>back side</i>) image. Click for full size. Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 11, 2018 2. New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade Marker (back side) Hull Slatter, John Hagan, Joseph Bruin, and others. Their networks, which undergirded the antebellum economy, stretched from Norfolk, Baltimore, Louisville, and Memphis to New Orleans, Natchez, Galveston, Pensacola, and beyond. Learn more
Want to get to know more slave trade sites in New Orleans?
New Orleans artist unveils augmented reality slavery trail exhibit