HUB Madness 2019 presented by BNY Mellon is in full swing! We caught up with Erik Jacobs, Principal at Anthem Multimedia and the artist behind Boston #StandsWithImmigrants to learn more about what inspired the unique, immersive project, and his plans to take the work nationwide in 2019.
Some background on the project:
Over the past year, photographer Erik Jacobs projected giant images of Bostonians around the city; the faces of athletes, musicians, researchers, politicians, and more have adorned the side of Longfellow Bridge, trees in the Boston Common, and the facade of City Hall during HUBweek 2018. What do all of these people have in common? They’re all immigrants. With this project, Jacobs aimed to show how important immigrants are to the Boston community, and to spread messages of tolerance and inclusivity throughout the city — all while creating a one-of-a-kind art experience.
Where did the idea for Boston #StandsWithImmigrants come from? What inspired you to create the project?
The idea came from an intense feeling of sadness and frustration following the election in 2016 and the travel bans that quickly followed. I was upset about the message it was sending to the rest of the world and wanted to project (pun intended) a different story about the welcoming and inclusive country I know and love.
What has been the biggest challenge of the project? How have you overcome it?
The biggest challenge has been technical/artistic. I choose a projection location for each subject that is relevant to or somehow illuminates their story. So, finding locations that work aesthetically while also narratively is quite a trick. It involved trial and a lot of error.
What's next for the project? What are you looking forward to accomplishing in 2019?
Our goal has always been to take this beyond Boston. The immigration conversation is a national conversation that is happening all over our country. And in many places where the sentiment towards immigrants is very different than in Boston. I think our project has life in those places and a roll in the conversation there.
What did you think was the coolest thing to come out of Greater Boston last year (aside from your project, of course)?
Oooh. Good question. Ayanna Pressley? Capuano is great too, but we’re definitely in need of fresh faces and new ideas.