It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, I know, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how to move Our Viral Lives forward at the same time that I was sidelined by looking for a new job. But I’m back and happy to announce the latest campaign Those We Hold Close, which is an opportunity to reflect on artists who have been lost to AIDS, and how their legacies and/or specific works influence our own writing and thinking in 2016.
A major component of my own studies, even before this project, has been exploring what it means to reciprocate the act of bearing witness. Those who died from AIDS have given visibility to forms of violence – both real and institutional – that often occurred as they were dying. I continue thinking about how reviving their stories and bodies protects and shapes witnessing in the present day.
How can you participate? It’s simple, really:
- Sit down one-on-one with me for an interview about the artist of your choice and one of their works. This can be videotaped or simply tape-recorded.
- Write down your thoughts in a creative or autobiographical way that responds to an artist or work they’ve created.
- Use a creative medium (i.e. photography, graphics, etc.) to create this same response. If the connection is abstract, please provide a few sentences explaining the context.
Try to think about why this artist has been so influential and what you think is most important for future generations to remember.
Here’s an example from a piece I did that explores my relationship to Derek Jarman, a British filmmaker who died from AIDS related complications in 1994: