With each issue of Public Domain, we invite a distinct voice to select a sequence of images culled from the public domain. The expansion of accessible grants, broadband internet and affordable scanning technology have made available massive caches of otherwise inaccessible material, formerly silently sitting in institutions around the world. With this publication we willfully reanimate these archives by putting their holdings back into circulation.
Our second issue finds the influential Pasadena-based artist Nancy Buchanan grappling with the seemingly limitless role of the circle in the universe through the narrowing lens of the public domain—or is it vice-versa? Buchanan draws from the vast array of images licensed via Creative Commons, the all-important non-profit that has allowed over 2 billion images to spread freely across the internet, choosing specific—if seemingly random—objects to illustrate the circle as one of the basic elements of life as we know it.