Nancy Baker Cahill, Class of 1992

If public art is understood to be produced by a lone maker, of physical material, in a static location for passive viewers, then you are an utter failure. You have subverted all of these assumptions and more. Your augmented realities involve teams of artists and technicians, consist of pixels, and can be experienced in many places or all places by viewers who themselves become part of the “picture.” Leonardo could not even dream of such things. You helped curate the “Defining Line,” a string of AR works along the Los Angeles River that highlighted issues of the environment and immigration. On your app, you hosted the project titled “In Plain Sight,” which comprised the work of eighty artists that appeared as both traditional and AR skywriting over U.S. centers of detention. Most recently, the “Liberty Bell” project brought shape-shifting images and immersive experiences of this symbol of our nation’s broken ideals to audiences in historically charged locations along the eastern seaboard. Your work as founder and creative director of the 4th Wall app enables audiences to move through these geo-located, multi-sensory experiences and to become co-producers with you wherever they happen to be on the planet. In so doing you have also helped to upend our understanding of intellectual property, to erode the distinction between humanity and technology, and, perhaps most thrillingly, to show how the gallery now is the world.

In recognition of your distinguished achievement in public art, Williams College is proud to honor you with its Bicentennial Medal.