ILLUMINATE – A light installation to provide a visual illustration of the dramatic way in which Coronavirus impacted New York City.

An illuminating project to show how specific communities and individuals were hardest hit by the virus. A data analysis research about Covid-19 that offers a visual interpretation of the dramatic way in which Coronavirus impacted New York City.

To Illuminate (v): to light up, brighten or flood with light; also, to make lucid or clear; clarify or explain, to highlight or throw light on (a subject or matter).

New York City was one of the global cities hit hardest by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). A city of light. The city that never sleeps. A bustling city full of life and energy.

For months, NYC was under lockdown, the life went out of the city, and symbolically, the light. While physically, in Time Square and other iconic areas of the city, the lights were still on, these lights were on for no one as New Yorkers remained quarantined in their homes.

The virus forced New Yorkers indoors and in many ways kept the impacts of the virus hidden from view.

By using the contrast of darkness (night) and light we aim to ILLUMINATE the intense effect the virus has on New York. To make the previously imperceptible immediately and intensely visible”. This is the mission of the project founders.

This project is a collaboration between a team of socially-minded urban planners and architects, dedicated to improving cities through art and access to information.

The authors are Domingo Abrusci, Architect, Designer, and Project Lead;
Alexandra Payne, AMPLIFY, Urban Planner and Project Manager; Elisa Forlini, Architect and Lighting Designer, and Robyn Squires, Fabrication Specialist.

Using a series of light sequences with intermittent moments of darkness, the installation will give a visual representation of the communities most impacted by Covid-19 in terms of infection and death rates, and then juxtapose this information with racial and economic demographics for those same areas.

Specific communities were hit harder than others, suggesting and exposing underlying socio-structural issues in the city.

Visitors will have a dynamic, potent, and lasting image of the pandemic and what neighborhoods it most impacted.

The illuminations cause us to question, what are the underlying structures that would cause such vivid disparities across a city?

This is also a way of ‘Lighting our way forward.’ The installation will ILLUMINATE correlation, highlighting potential issues as an impetus to focus on their resolution. It offers those who encounter it a way to visualize communities that need our support and help.

Illuminate team is raising 20K on Gofundme to build a public-facing LED light map that shows data analysis. The project will be exposed from a window facing the NYC Bowery, at The Canvas by Querencia Studio.

The project will be exhibited from December 16th 2020 to February 1st 2021at The Canvas, located at 250 Bowery in Manhattan, that combines retail with a photography, artist, and design studio and is a proactive community dimension that has decided to support the initiative.

You can donate to the Illuminate: Covid-19 campaign here.

Follow Illuminate project on Instagram and Facebook.

Currently on Display:
The Canvas 250 Bowery
December 16th, 2020 – February 1st, 2021
*light sequence runs 11am to 1am