Definitions, 2020
28 3/4 x 39”
archival pigment print



Public Record is a public artwork in New York City comprised of artist-created government records. The work is subject to laws and protocols that define public access to official municipal materials.

The project was created while I was Public Artist in Residence of the New York City Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS). During the residency period I transferred artwork created onsite to Pauline Toole, Commissioner of DORIS. As a result, the artwork became subject to the NYC Agency Head General Subject Files Retention and Disposition Series which requires they be kept, processed and made public according to regulations.

The date that Public Record will open to the public and the manner in which it will be viewed is presently unknowable. Government retention and access protocols depend on a variety of factors. Commissioner Toole’s records will be transferred to the public collection of the Municipal Archives one year after the end of her service term, which may follow the inauguration of a new New York City mayor or another personal or professional event. Once transferred to the Municipal Archives the works will be processed following archival procedures dependent upon available resources. Prior to the transfer of the Commissioner’s records to the Municipal Archives, a member of the public may submit a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request that calls for the artwork to enter the public realm prior to the full length of the retention and disposition schedule. In this scenario, the artworks may be installed and experienced on New York City’s Open Records portal.

This project was made possible through support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Records and Information Services.