Dateline : June 16, 2016 Posted by Ligorano/Reese

The American Dream Project 2016

Download the Press Release (pdf)

Transformer Station, Cleveland, Ohio

This summer artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese are installing two 4,000-pound sculptures carved in ice that spell out the words The American Dream at the Republican and Democratic Conventions. During the day, the sculptures melt away drawing attention to one of the greatest problems facing America the erosion of opportunity and equality for all.

The artists launch the first of the two temporary public artworks at 12 noon on Tuesday, July 19 at Transformer Station, located at 460 W 29th Street in Cleveland Ohio. As the sculptures disappear the artists photograph them, film street interviews with the public and stream the action live.

This is LigoranoReese’s third convention project, the largest sculptures yet, spanning 30 feet long and 5 feet high; they will take between 10 to 16 hours to vanish. The installations in Cleveland and Philadelphia are the most elaborate to date, combining public activities to activate the space and reach a broad audience.

In Cleveland and Philadelphia, LigoranoReese have invited writers and poets to be in residence during the meltdown to write their impressions of the event. Their texts and images will be uploaded in real-time to the meltedaway website and reblogged to ArtsEverywhere, a new art and activism internet project sponsored by the Musagetes Foundation.

Guest writers in residence: cris check, Carla Harryman, Davy Knittle, Julia Lopez, Janice Lowe, Julie Patton, Bob Perelman, Frank Sherlock, Orchid Tierney, and others.

On July 19 in proximity of the sculpture, The City Club of Cleveland is hosting The American Dream: at the Intersection of Art and Politics at Transformer Station. This series of free panel discussions include LigoranoReese, community leaders  and artists in Cleveland during the RNC to discuss what their work tells us about the community, the political environment, and Clevelanders’ connection and response to the political discourse that shapes the nation.


Independence Mall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

On Monday, July 25 at 12 noon, the artists are installing the second part of their project at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, situated between Independence Hall and the Constitution Center.

As in Cleveland, the event will be filmed and streamed live. The artists have invited writers from Philadelphia to be in residence to blog during the event.

Throughout the day a chorus of poets and writers flanking the sculpture will periodically read their own texts and selections on the state of America from Walt Whitman, Muriel Rukeyser, Claudia Rankine, Charles Reznikoff, Allen Ginsburg, Ed Sanders, James Baldwin, Ta-nehisi Coates, Denise Levertov, and others.

Please join us.

For more information.


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    Dateline : November 16, 2014 Posted by Ligorano/Reese

    Voices from the Future

    The public addresses what the future looks like. On September 21, 2014 we installed a 3,500 pound ice sculpture of the words The Future at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 23 Street in New York. This video is a sample of some of the public’s reactions to it.

    “When you begin to witness the rapid changes occurring on the planet, rising temperatures, increasing droughts, the extinction of vast numbers of species, you think about loss and disappearance,” Marshall Reese says. “Ice is the perfect material for bringing awareness of what that kind of change means.”

    We call the piece ‘Dawn of the Anthropocene’ to describe the effect of humanity on the Earth’s systems. The term comes from Nobel prize scientist Paul Crutzen. In his and other scientists’ view, humanity has entered an age when the power and impact of humans is as great, if not greater, than nature’s.

    Sculpture Design – Nora Ligorano; Cinematographer – Ben Wolf; Editor – Marshall Reese; Music – Tree Laboratory; Ice Sculpture – Okamoto Studio

    For more information:
    Sound design:
    Climate Action partner:

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      Dateline : October 2, 2014 Posted by Ligorano/Reese

      The Story Is Here

      This is a collection of Twitter feeds from The Future during the planning and preparation for the launch of the project, including posts from the day of.

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        Dateline : September 24, 2014 Posted by Ligorano/Reese

        Twilight Future Ice Melting Away


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          Dateline New York City : Posted by writer in residence

          Niki Singleton

          Niki IMG_1899

          Niki Singleton is a visual artist working in drawing, painting, found material sculpture and installation. These watercolor sketches were created on-site as part of the Dawn of the Anthropocene mini-residency program.
          Continue reading

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            Dateline New York City : Posted by writer in residence

            Watching the Future Melt Away

            Ryan Schlief,  International Accountability Project

            It’s the opposite of watching paint dry.

            Each shiny letter is slowing loosing its weight and form just sitting here. And I am just sitting here watching it slowly come apart. Continue reading

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              Dateline : Posted by Ligorano/Reese

              Dawn of the Anthropocene Timelapse

              Dawn of the Anthropocene Time Lapse from LigoranoReese on Vimeo.

              Timelapse video of The Future melting at Flatiron North Plaza in New York City on September 21, 2014 during the People’s Climate March.

              “As long as we continue to think of humanity as separate from nature, our solutions will be partial and their effects minimal. Social change drives climate change. We are both separate individual organisms and united by society and ecosystem.” – James Sherry, Social Environment post

              Video – GoPro by Ben Wolf
              Edit – Marshall Reese
              Sound – Gyorgy Ligeti, Poeme Symphonique for 100 Metronomes

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                Dateline New York City : Posted by writer in residence

                Ha! said the 3AM Guy

                John Weir

                The 3 AM guy is planning my outfit for the giant melting ice sculpture at the Flatiron Bldg., where we’ll be anon. He’s going as a polar ice cap, of course. I want to go as him, which he’s not crazy about.

                Me photographing people photographing melting ice, aka The Future.

                Me photographing people photographing melting ice, aka The Future.

                Continue reading

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                  Dateline : September 21, 2014 Posted by writer in residence

                  The Survivors

                  Joshua Furst


                  We knew it was coming—everyone knew it was coming—but we hadn’t been ready to admit that it was already here until Long Beach and the Florida Keys and various other barrier reefs along the coast were gone. Well, almost gone: They were gone at high tide but they miraculously reappeared twice a day. We watched this on TV. Continue reading

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                    Dateline New York City : Posted by writer in residence

                    That Ever Elusive Future

                    Chantal Bilodeau


                    I have read dozens of reports and articles about climate change, and heard at least as many scientists talk. I can confidently say that I understand the basic science and that I am aware of the potential consequences of our actions. Yet that understanding hits me most profoundly when I am confronted with a piece of art that helps me not just understand but feel the impact of climate change.

                    I have been watching The Future melt for over two hours now, and every time a piece breaks off, a little piece of my heart breaks off with it. I have grown attached to this melting block of ice and feel, on a very small scale, the sense of loss that perhaps we are not allowing ourselves to feel on a much bigger scale. I am reminded that the future is both beautiful and fragile and that at a moment’s notice, it may fall apart. And I can’t help but think about the Buddhist teaching that says that we only ever have the present moment. The future never arrives. It is always out there, slightly out of reach. But its quality is forever determined by what we make of each moment.

                    By the end of the day, The Future  will be reduced to a puddle of melt water. But hundreds of people will have engaged with it: touched it, photographed it, talked about it, posted or tweeted about it. They may not remember or even know that we recently passed the 400 ppm threshold, or that the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the world. But they’ll remember the poetry of a melting block of ice. Perhaps they’ll even be touched by it and shape their next present moment in a way that protects that ever elusive future.

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