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
This piece is in progress. It is an interactive installation which will also have an audio recording (narrative) triggered by the same sensor that triggers the lights. The first person narrative will reveal the life and death of Catherine, a sex worker murdered in 2003.
This series will be an ongoing memorial for sex workers who have been victims of violence.
The first draft will be completed on December 17th, 2009 to coincide with the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
I have made some progress on my final project. I was able to get three feet of LEDs (300 LEDs per 5 meter, if I understand correctly.) They are pretty bright white, stark even. I will be able to make a cut at any two inch point and rewire and solder to power and ground. The LED strips were pretty expensive at almost $20/foot. I purchased three feet. They had denser variations (600 LEDs +) but they were far more expensive and didn’t seem necessary to accomplish lighting a small box. Canal Lighting was my source and they were stellar but expensive.
I also went to Canal Plastic and purchased several sheets of 12″x12″ plastic in various forms. I purchased 2″x2″ samples first because they were only a dollar a piece. I purchased a two-way mirror at the suggestion of Chika, translucent white, and frosted clear plastics. I drew out my construction plans and dimensions based on the cost of the plastics since I wasn’t committed to my initial dimensions. Even with my adjustments to accommodate for costs, each box is going to cost about $200 to construct. Therefore, I will only be creating one box for this final.
I tested out an old blender marker which I am pretty sure still contains Xylene since I feel slightly stoned from inhaling the sweet fragrance. I also found an old carbon print from my Div III at Hampshire to test the marker with. Carbon prints and the sent of blender markers in the middle of the night give me tremendous nostalgia for my Div III (thesis). In any case, I tested the chemical on all three plastics. I was disappointed to find out that the mirror coating renders the blender marker ineffective in adhering inks to the surface of the plastic. It worked fairly well on the translucent white but seemed most effective on the frosted clear plastic which I accredit to the small ridges and dips in the surface. It gives the ink a place to sink in, so to speak.
So my new plan is to buy another sheet of the frosted plastic and chemically transfer the image there. and then adhere it behind the two way mirror. I tested it on the 2″x2″ pieces and it was visible but it will be hard to say how it will pan out with the LEDs. I have a lot of testing left to do in the next two week, not to mention both Arduino and Processing programming and the physical construction of the box.
I’ve had a difficult time finding a cohesive narrative for the story so I am playing around with more abstract imagery and reading a list of names of sex workers who died in the past year as the audio component. I could really use feedback on this change of plans, though.