“Who owns the atmosphere?” “Who owns the street?” “Who owns the power?” “Who owns community?” These are some of the questions written on small, flat boxes arrayed across the lawn of Boston Common, near the Parkman Bandstand.
They’re from Brooklyn artist Janet Zweig’s public art project “What Do We Have in Common?,” commissioned by the Friends of the Public Garden to honor their 50th Anniversary and curated by the independent public art organization Now + There. The project is at the Common from Sept. 22 to Oct. 24, 24 hours a day (the boxes light up a night).
Each day, bilingual guides take out some of the 200 blue boxes from a wooden cabinet for display–“in order to spark thought-provoking conversations and reflections with the public on our shared responsibilities to each other and the public spaces we visit,” according to organiers. “The artwork asks us to reflect on what we have in common with each other and the resources we share, like public parks. The title, a pun on the word ‘commons,’ refers to things we own together or that no one owns: air, history, culture, the Internet, and the Boston Common itself.”
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