The Illuminator was commissioned for a community-engaged art project through Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) to take place in the first half of 2020. The initial plan was to work with local housing groups who organized in Community Board 3 (Lower East Side and Chinatown), but when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, the project was postponed, as the organizations shifted gears to deal with the devastation caused by the virus.
Once the vaccine became available, we went to housing justice protests and tabling events to film outdoor interviews with housing activists. We brought the resulting video to a bustling corner in the Lower East Side in July of 2021, where the testimonies of both public and private housing residents were projected onto a school building across the street from a NYCHA park. In addition to the edited video, we opened up a live audio+video feed for more neighborhood residents to share their stories with passersby.
This project was commissioned by Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc).