Public reenactment of a speech given by author and activist Howard Zinn at a peace rally on Boston Common on May 5, 1971. Zinn defends the use of civil disobedience to protest the war in Vietnam and calls on Congress to impeach the president and vice president of the United States for the high crime of waging war on the people of Southeast Asia. Matthew Floyd Miller delivered the speech on Boston Common on July 14, 2007.
“For me the event at the Common was undeniably stirring. There was an odd sense of chronological dislocation, too, for though the speaker seemed to be addressing people in the present, he was, in a theatrical sense, speaking to an invisible audience, a crowd with a very different sense of the moment. That audience dispersed many years ago, yet one felt it reconvene as a ghostly presence.”
- Ken Johnson, Boston Globe, July 2007
Quotes from speech:
"We need to do something to disturb that calm, smiling, murderous president in the White House... because for six years the President has carried on an unconstitutional war, and for six years the bodies of Americans have been coming home in plastic bags, and for six years the villages and countryside of Vietnam have been destroyed, and these members of Congress have been sitting there silently, passively, voting the money for this war."
"Young men will refuse to be drafted and women will defy the state, and we will refuse to pay our taxes, and we'll disobey. And they'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war."
July 14, 2007
In the press
Hyperallergic: "A video projection focused on a single woodland scene for 24 hours shows undulating patterns of light formed by shadows of the trees. A leaf meanders its way to the ground; an insect buzzes by. A small pool of water shimmers and trickles, but not much else happens. When we come upon a scene like this in nature, we might stop for a photo, perhaps force ourselves to meditate for a moment, searching for peace and a spiritual connection, before quickly moving on. Mark Tribe’s “Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest, Ulster County, New York,” from the series New Nature (2016–17), allows us to linger more than we might in the wild, where fellow hikers, inclement weather, or mosquitoes compel us to be on our way. It allows us to enjoy the scene. According to a wall text accompanying this piece, we are more likely to experience nature on a digital screen than in an immersive setting. “In an age of virtual reality and inescapable human impact, is nature as real as it used to be?” asks Tribe. “And how could we use technologies of simulation (including relatively straightforward ones, like video) to preserve the experience of a vanishing wilderness?” By providing a voyeuristic view, the artist awakens us to a primal urge to get outside, to smell the moss, to feel the ferns and rocks, to listen to the water." Ilene Dube, "Artists Urge Us to Get Outside and Smell the Moss"