For many people living in the New York City area, one of the most haunting memories of 9/11 was the sight of thousands of white sheets of paper tumbling through the sky — having escaped from the fallen twin towers. These white sheets of paper drifted onto rooftops and sidewalks, and into parks, gardens, and yards, reaching the surrounding boroughs with their silent reality.
The white sheet of paper is also a symbol of free speech, free thought, and free imagination. The project would invite visitors to the Freedom Center to write their reflections on blank sheets of paper, and then release these sheets of paper into the upward draft of a tall glass cylinder, filled with a strong current of air.
Their sheets of paper would then tumble upwards through the sky for all to see, before being automatically collected by a processing system that would scan their drawn images and add them to a growing database of contributions — forming an ever-evolving archive of free self-expression, which could then be viewed online, or through various multimedia installations on site.
The project was proposed in response to an invitation by the Freedom Center — but amid a firestorm of political objections to the notion of associating the idea of “freedom” with Ground Zero, the entire museum concept was scrapped by its organizers, so this project was abandoned as well.