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Artists LigoranoReese are melting down The American Dream at the Republican and Democratic conventions this summer.
Artists LigoranoReese are melting down The American Dream at the Republican and Democratic conventions this summer.
168 backers pledged $13,443 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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We’re melting down two 4000 pound sculptures carved in ice spelling out the words The American Dream during the Republican and Democratic conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia – our most dramatic public artworks to date.

Transformer Station, July 19, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio
Transformer Station, July 19, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio

 

Independence Mall, July 25, 2016, Philadelphia
Independence Mall, July 25, 2016, Philadelphia

The American Dream ice sculptures

The power lies in giving sculpture a performative aspect which suggests change, movement and emotional power. – Jonathan Goodman, Sculpture Magazine

These enormous sculptures, each measuring over 30 feet long, will melt within 24 hours. Their disappearance will highlight the erosion of opportunity and social equality in society, intensified even further this election year.

Seeing one of the central tenets of postwar America disappear, suspends disbelief. We hope that witnessing the sculpture melt—literally weep through its transformation—will create a sense of urgency and act as a call to action.

What will happen

In Cleveland, the sculpture forms the backdrop for an afternoon symposium organized by The City Club on equality, opportunity and creative advocacy. Other participating organizations include Transformer Station, SPACES and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame;

In Philadelphia, the sculpture will be flanked by a chorus of poets and writers declaiming from their own work and selected writings by Howard Zinn, James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Claudia Rankine and Charles Reznikoff among others.

We will be holding writers' residencies in both cities, a total of 24 poets, writers and journalists, 12 at each location. They will have 2 hours to write their impressions of what is happening as the American Dream disappears and upload them in realtime to the meltedaway website.

How we make them

We’re working with Aaron Costic of Elegant Ice Creations in Cleveland and Shintaro Okamoto of Okamoto Studio in New York to carve the ice letters. Once they get our illustrator files, they carve the ice using CNC routers, chain saws and chisels. 

Carving the letter F for The Future, 2014

On the morning of the launch we install the pedestal and sculptures at sunrise, the whole process can take up to 4 hours. More than anything, this is a team effort – we’re working with local ice carvers, carpenters, filmographers, and writers to make a powerful statement and symbolic artwork, like the way a finely tuned music ensemble performs and improvises.

The Future, Flatiron Plaza, New York City, September 21, 2014
The Future, Flatiron Plaza, New York City, September 21, 2014

 

The pedestal is modular. We are using it in both locations. LED lighting is inside the structure.

The Future, People’s Climate March, Flatiron Plaza, September 21, 2014
The Future, People’s Climate March, Flatiron Plaza, September 21, 2014

We set up cameras to stream the sculptures live and to record two different timelapses, one edited from real-time footage, the other dropping frames; throughout the day we film interviews with passersby.

What’s next 

  • Carve ice sculptures for both locations;
  • Stream the sculpture live to the meltedaway website and a network of online hosts including ArtsEverywhere
  • Film street interviews with the public at the sculpture site – documentary filmmaker Ben Wolf is shooting this;
  • Organize, Invite and schedule 12  writers at each site to the Residencies in Cleveland and Philadelphia;
  • Organize a public convocation to energize and reach an even wider audience:
  • Design and launch a fully responsive website http://meltedaway.com for viewing the meltdowns on mobile or desktop platforms created by Diane Bertolo of Lotus & Pixel;
  • Print an 8 page newspaper given away on site with essays by noted poets Charles Bernstein, Erica Hunt and Edwin Torres

LigoranoReese’s melting ice sculptures are collective holding spaces, allowing us moments to reflect in the shade of art. – Charles Bernstein

Republican National Convention, St. Paul, MN September 1, 2008
Republican National Convention, St. Paul, MN September 1, 2008

Join us

Be part of making this project happen in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

With your support, we can make an inspirational public artwork focusing on some of the most pressing issues facing us during this critical election. Please spread the word.

The role of art is to inspire, uplift and motivate – to express ideas beyond established discourse. To paraphrase poet Denise Levertov, insofar as art has a social function, it is to awaken sleepers by other means than shock.

Our rewards

Like past Kickstarter projects, we are offering several limited editions, made in our Brooklyn studio as rewards for supporting our project.

The American Dream Project Newspaper

The American Dream Project 8-page newspaper
The American Dream Project 8-page newspaper

The American Dream Project Newspaper - 8 page color tabloid with essays by poets Charles Bernstein, Erica Hunt and Edwin Torres, artist statement by LigoranoReese, and an inner spread, data visualization of how society has changed over the last 9 elections. Donation of $30.

Deluxe 420 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes snow globe

Deluxe 420 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes snow globe
Deluxe 420 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes snow globe

Why stop with just the F**K snow globe? Hand-cast and assembled Deluxe 420 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes snow globe, from the the limited edition of 25 we launched last year and featured in High Times. Donation of $500.

After/Thought Lenticular

After/Thought 2013 lenticular. The first lenticular from the series Edges. Other lenticulars available as rewards are Over/Sight 2014 ($700) and Under/Hand 2015 ($500) Digital print mounted on Sintra, cradle frame on back, 15 x 15 inches signed and numbered edition of 100. Donation of $800. 

Archival Inkjet Print from Catastrophic Acts edition

Digital print edition (5+2 APs) measuring 26 x 30 inches
Digital print edition (5+2 APs) measuring 26 x 30 inches

2 prints from the digital print series Catastrophic Acts, close-ups from The Future ice sculpture. Edition of 5 + 2APS, Archival digital print, 26 x 30 inches. Unframed. Only 2 available. Donation of $3500

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Risks and challenges

This is art without a safety net - we're on the streets, there's no white box protecting us. Making art this way is serious, you have to be nimble and ready for anything.

Having done the past two conventions, we're getting good at knowing the pitfalls. And we've been planning for this project since last fall.

We have the necessary permits, that's one of the hardest steps.

The crew is lined up and we're partnering with a number of organizations but challenges remain:

* Will this sculpture and event open necessary discussion and thought?
• Will the weather hold on the day of the launch?
• What will the impact be on the public? How will they react?
• What will people at the conventions be like? Respectful or hostile?
• How long with the sculpture last?

The biggest test still remains to be seen - will all the elements we're planning mesh together make one of the most engaging artworks ever? Stay tuned and see!

Please join us in making this happen.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    The American Dream Project Supporter

    Join the team and be a Supporter: Back The American Dream Project at any level you'll get behind-the-scenes updates on the project as it develops.

    Share it with the world by tweeting, blogging about, emailing your friends about it.

    In exchange for helping us to make this project happen we will list your name as a supporter on our website http://meltedaway.com

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    Signed Postcard

    Signed, The American Dream postcard. We'll also include a hi-res digital image you can use for your computer desktop.

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    What The American Dream Sounds Like

    This is what The American Dream disappearing sounds like.

    For your pledge of $10 or more, we'll send you a link to download a MP3 of The American Dream Ice Sculpture cracking and disappearing.

    Your name will appear as a supporter on our website http://meltedaway.com

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    The American Dream Project Newspaper

    The American Dream Project Newspaper 8 page color tabloid with essays by poets Charles Bernstein, Erica Hunt and Edwin Torres.

    We're producing this newspaper to give away during the meltdown in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

    It includes an artist statement by LigoranoReese and an inner spread data visualization of the ways society has changed over the last 9 elections since 1984.

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    American Dream Thoughts

    Post your thoughts about the disappearance of The American Dream on the day of the meltdowns. SMS us your text, limited to 100 words and we'll post it from the site.

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    The American Dream Postage Stamp

    The American Dream first class postage stamps commemorating the installation and sculpture. Photographic image of the site. Sheet of five.

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    Bottled Tears from the American Dream

    100 milliliter glass bottle filled with the tears of the American Dream, distilled on site in Cleveland or Philadelphia.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Ice Newspaper Set

    Signed set of 3 newspapers and broadsides published for the Middle Class, Future, and American Dream ice sculptures. Limited to 10.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    F**K Snow Globe

    No Kickstarter campaign would be complete without our F**K Snow Globe as an incentive - One of our greatest hits. Best-seller at the New Museum, Museum of Sex and AHALife.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    420 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes snow globe

    Why stop with F**K? Hand-cast and assembled 420 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes snow globe, from the lhe limited editon of 100 that we launched last year.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Cocktail Party in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

    Spend an evening with Nora and Marshall in their Brooklyn Navy Yard studio. Enjoy locally sourced appetizers, wines and spirits. Some from the Yard.

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    Digital Letter Print from Cleveland

    Archival digital print of the letter A from the sculpture installed in Cleveland. Signed and numbered edition of 20 + 2 APs

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    Digital Letter Print from Philadelphia

    Archival digital print of the letter D from the sculpture installed in Philadelphia. Signed and numbered edition of 20 + 2 APs

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    Deluxe 420 snow globe

    Deluxe 420 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes snow globe with secret stash compartment. Featured in High Times. Hand cast and hand assembled in Brooklyn.

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    Under/Hand Lenticular

    Under/Hand 2015 lenticular. Digital print mounted on Sintra, cradle frame on back, 15 x 15 inches signed and numbered edition of 100.

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    Over/Sight Lenticular

    Over/Sight 2014 lenticular. Digital print mounted on Sintra, cradle frame on back, 15 x 15 inches signed and numbered edition of 100.

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    After/Thought Lenticular

    After/Thought 2013 lenticular. Digital print mounted on Sintra, cradle frame on back, 15 x 15 inches signed and numbered edition of 100.

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    Ice Letter Sponsorship

    Sponsor an ice letter of the American Dream and receive an editioned digital print from the event. Edition limited to 30.

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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    Limited Edition Digital Print

    We're offereing a print from the digital print series Catastrophic Acts, closeup abstractions from The Future ice sculpture. Edition of 5 + 2APS, archival inkjet print, unframed, 26 x 30 inches.

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Funding period

- (30 days)