DISCLOSIONAL New York
Visual AIDS 2015
Under the guidance of Emilie Baltz
Disclosional is the result of nine weeks worth of ideation and collaboration, that resulted in a one night pop-up interactive experience.
This event took place on the night of March 28th 2015 in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Dislcosional is an exploration of HIV disclosure inside a public space.
Guests were encouraged to put on a pink triangle, interact with the space, grab a manifesto and then continue the conversation about HIV with the empathy they gained from participating.
Heath worked with Visual AIDS to contact multiple HIV positive artist, who were willing to donate their HIV diagnosis story. Guests were invited to listen to the stories of these individuals with the phones provided. Visual AIDS helped Heath to formulate a letter that he then sent to 20 different HIV positive artists asking them to participate.
My name is Heath Wagoner, I am currently a Masters Student at School of Visual Arts. I am working on a design experience called Disclosional. Visual Aids provided me with your contact information because of your unique story, and I am sincerely hoping you will be willing to participate in the project.
Disclosional is an experience open to the public that brings attention to disclosure of HIV. Attendees have the opportunity to listen to someone that is HIV Positive recount the events of the day they found out they were positive, via anonymous audio recordings that will be played during the experience. Disclosional is part of a body of work about fostering a community for HIV positive men, where disclosure becomes easier and stigma is eliminated. Disclosional seeks to create an environment where people who may or may not be immediately connected to HIV have the opportunity to enter that world and walk away with the insights to start new conversations about HIV. People will gain these insights from the stories of HIV positive men; I think that conversation is key in understand HIV.
If interested, I ask that you please record the array of emotions and events over the course of the day that you found out you were HIV positive, in the manner most comfortable for you / as best you can. This recording can be a recollection, or spoken in way of a conversation. We hope that through the process of your disclosing these personal responses, Disclosional will open a sensitive space for dialogue about the challenges faced and contributions made by individuals living with HIV.
You may use your computer or phone to record yourself. Your name will also be withheld if you request. Ideally, the recorded response will be 3-6 minutes. If willing and able, please provide the recording response by this coming Saturday. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about the project. I thank you for your participation and I will be sure to inform you in the coming weeks of the event's time and location.
Thank you for your time.
A projection of talking silhouettes streamed in the background, projecting the current HIV statistics as well. Guests were also encouraged to interact with a touch screen that presented the stories of people whose parents had died of HIV and an object that correlated with the story. All aspects of this design experience were written, constructed, designed, installed by Heath.
Photography courtesy of Tyler Dean King