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Free Rob Will III: “Psychosocial Dimensions” ↬ 14-22 March 2020

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Circular City Week New York, Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, Universe City × The Vanderbilt Republic proudly present Free Rob Will III: “Psychosocial Dimensions” — an immersive group installation, documentary screening series, performance/talkback/community workshop program & special guided neighborhood tour of the food sovereignty and social justice activist businesses blossoming in East New York/Brownsville today.

Circular economy is a future-facing global trend, with the potential to transform industries and redesign urban living. The transformative potential of circularity is not specific to a single sector, but can be linked to everything from digitization and the sharing economy, to the food industry and the built environment. In this second annual staging of Circular City New York, mass incarceration abolition enters the discourse in a powerful way — via the burgeoning movement to Free Rob Will.

As a society perpetually on the edge of tomorrow, America cannot afford to let any more precious lives and minds waste away at the feet of a shortsighted criminal justice design that’s brought us to a catastrophic dead end of mass incarceration in for-profit prisons and detention centers. These are modern-day derivates of chattel slavery, a system that America has yet to economically function without.

Ideas of rehabilitation, forgiveness and grace are present when design economists speak of the recycling of resources, and there is no resource more valuable in any society than PEOPLE. We need people to engineer, advocate and implement the next-generation solutions that will advance our society into a sustainable formation.

Free Rob Will III: Psychosocial Dimensions will present these important social movements of mass incarceration abolition and economic/design circularity in deeply interconnected ways. Installed as an immersive curatorial encounter designed by George Del Barrio at Universe City’s bustling 5,000ft² East New York aquaponic startup/co-working/production studio, Free Rob Will III will feature artwork by Robert G. WillWilliam EllisJoaquín Jutt & Hivewild paired with a robust program of screenings, talkbacks, performances, workshops and more:

Opening the exhibition at 3p on 14 March, Jason Flom will stage a live recording of his chart-topping podcast, Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom with a keynote by Wesley Caines of The Bronx Defenders. RSVP

Guided Circular City tours on 15, 17, 19 & 22 March will visit the local farms, businesses and advocacy groups that are working to remediate the urban food desert that permeates this open end of the school-to-prison pipeline. RSVP

A complete 4-part screening of Lynn Novick’s College Behind Bars (Executive Production by Ken Burns), featuring special talkbacks and workshops in collaboration with All Kings, Hivewild, Bard Prison Initiative alumni featured in the fllm, and special guests from Witness to Innocence, The Innocence Project, and more. RSVP

All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 11a-6p daily.

Press & Media inquiries — Kate Harvie

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