This interactive installation appears as a mirror to the viewer. When they step on the pressure sensor, a microcontroller triggers LED lights to backlight the lightbox, revealing the image of Catherine Lique, a sex worker who was killed in 2003. The accompanying audio piece, a first person narrative, tells the story of the life and death of Ms. Lique. The audio, also triggered by the sensor, is programmed to play through Processing. The narrative was written by Catherine’s daughter, Stephanie.
Memorial for Catherine Lique is the first of a series to honor and remember sex workers who have been victims of violence. The first installation was completed on December 17th, 2009, coinciding with the International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers.
About the Artist: Sarah Jenny is a New York-based multimedia and mixed media artist and masters candidate at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Interactive Telecommunications Program. For more information about the artist and project, please visit www.sarahjenny.org
I am also interested collecting images and stories of other sex worker victims of violent crime for this project.
I am also looking for footage from December 17th events, statistics, and red umbrella imagery and footage to work from. I put a call out to advocacy organizations, harm reduction social service providers in New York and beyond, and sex worker communities online to gather stories. So far the contributions have been intense and overwhelming. Each year we hold a memorial service for sex workers who were murdered because of their job: by clients, cops, partners, or the system (prison industrial complex).
I envision images transferred onto plexiglass using xylene. The plexiglass surface would be part of larger light boxes. When a user approaches an image on the light box, an infrared proximity sensor or photo resistor would recognize the environmental change, causing the image to light up. I would also like to using Processing to then display video or audio to accompany each image. The impact should be immediate, visceral, and haunting.
I will probably start with a small number of people to represent, maybe five, until I work out the technological end and then continue on. This idea is a work in progress and feedback is welcome.