The Virus Will Use the Minutes We Lose!

Objective:

Get Moderna to share its vaccine-production knowledge with the World Health Organization.

The Project:

A poster about the American duty to help ramp up global vaccine production. It stresses the importance of sharing with the World Health Organization taxpayer-funded knowledge about how to make vaccines. It’s inspired by a WWII-era poster by Andrew Wyeth.

TRY THIS:

Print it and post it.

Customize the call to action.

What worked?

It is visually striking!

Other Notes:

It’s hard to pick just one location associated with this piece – it was a collaboration among people based in LA, Pittsburgh/Buffalo, Indianapolis, Maryland, Delaware/Philadelphia, and Boston.

    An original object can be provided for exhibition
  • The work can be reproduced on site with instructions (provided)

Links:

Reflections from Daria Bazzi

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

Upon being sent the original image and idea by Laura, I used photoshop to edit the image into a version that communicated what we were trying to express, and made different versions from there based on feedback from the team. Afterwards we set up a google doc for people to use as a resource if wanting to use the image in various formats.

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

Art history, design, messaging, different audience perspectives.

What were some of the responses to this work?

Some found it really cool and clever, others were a bit confused by the dated look.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

Maybe a more thorough photoshopping/re-illustrating of the original image to bring home the message even more, perhaps put it on a billboard or in Times Square or something, animate it a bit.

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

Please feel free to build upon it! We provided editable versions of all assets for people to use as they please, I’m sure there are other creative ways and formats to pair with this concept.

About this project
Creators:
  • Daria Bazzi
  • Laura Holzman
  • Kisha Patterson
  • Vandhana Reddy
  • Maanasa Gurram
  • Jaya M.
  • Parthu K.

December, 2021

Image/graphic, Online/web thing, Print

United States, Los Angeles

36 x 24 inches, variable

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Link to Original or High-Res file

A Guide to mRNA Wellness Therapy

Objective:

Playfully encourage those who are mildly vaccine hesitant (not anti-vaccine) because of fear, concerns about it not being “natural” or are just more familiar or more comfortable with wellness language. Also to model a more lighthearted way of engaging for those who are on the same side.

The Project:

A series of 10 images that talk about vaccines using the jargon and aesthetic of “wellness.”

TRY THIS:

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

Make it specific to another community.

What worked?

What I think is funny is rarely what large populations think is funny, but apparently this resonated with a lot of people. It’s by far the most popular thing I’ve ever posted on instagram, by a factor of 7 in the first 48 hours. It was re-posted on some other accounts and in total over 11,000 people liked it, which means many more saw it.

Other Notes:

I have a history of irritation with scams, pseudoscience, the idea that things are “natural” or “unnatural”, etc. I’d also recently listened to an episode of Maintenance Phase about the “Wellness to QAnon Pipeline” that was still rattling around in my head.

Friends like Merith Basey, Stephen Duncombe, Jean Raillia, Dread Scott, and others saw early drafts and gave me some helpful feedback, which is how it got less mean.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Links:

Reflections from Steve Lambert

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

It was an idea I had late one night, made a note, and then couldn’t get it out of my head. It started with “wouldn’t it be funny if…” and I made an initial image as a proof of concept. Then I shared that image with a few friends and they reacted positively, so I kept honing it.

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

The first draft ended with “GET FUCKING VACCINATED! You privileged, self-centered, cockwombles!” Merith taught me the word cockwomble. But mostly the collaborators relayed that they thought it could work well without the turn at the end. I thought maybe it would make it more cathartic and funny, but I think leaning the other direction helped it work.

What were some of the responses to this work?

It went crazy on Instagram.

“This is the funniest shit I’ve seen in so long I love it 😂 so good!!!”

“I told my friend Michael from @bedsideroundz this was the best satire piece I’ve seen this year. 🏆🏆🏆”

“I love this so much ❤️❤️🙌🙌 I his is incredible and worded in a way I would have loved to but have always been to angry to express without sounding like I’m on the attack 😂”

“For some reason, it was the picture of avocados that made me laugh. This is so silly and so good 😂👏👏👏”

There’s also comments on the post, tremendously positive.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

Make print brochures to take to health food stores. Make cheesy video commercials and put them on tv and online.

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

Free stock photos and the right font are your friend. Work fast. There was a point in the middle I wasn’t sure it was funny at all because I’d been working too closely for too long. So keep testing with other people if it’s funny because you may not be able to know.

Also, I got an unexpected amount of comments. The straight up misinformation I would write a slam-dunk response to or just delete it. Some people asked legit questions. You can get a sense of how I handled it in the comments, but I also wrote up a summary for a friend that I can share too – reach out if needed.

About this project
Creators:

August, 2021

Image/graphic, Online/web thing

United States, Poughkeepsie

1600px Square

Creative Commons BY

UBC Open COVID Pledge Poster

Objective:

We would like UBC students to become more educated about the Open COVID Pledge and show their support for UBC signing it.

The Project:

This poster was created to have UBC students be excited to promote the Open COVID Pledge to their university as a way to get them to sign it. A google form is included for the students to express their opinion for UBC administration to hear.

TRY THIS:

Make it specific to your community.

What worked?

I think that the idea behind this project and how it will be used was successful because it will be very simple for students to use this poster to share their thoughts.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from Riya Agrawal

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

First, our team had a brainstorming session on what would be accessible and informative, while also giving UBC students the chance to use their voice for an important issue. Upon coming up with the idea to have a poster with a QR-code for them to post their thoughts, I made an overall template and our team worked to improve it. Finally, I made the google form, with the description created by our team to educate the students about vaccine equity.

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

Cathy was very experienced with making posters of this format, so she knew what would look great. Declan and Jacob were able to phrase our wording on the poster and the google form as eloquently as possible

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

An interactive exhibit or art piece that the students could contribute to and share their voice on the Open COVID Pledge would be a very impactful way of getting their university to hear them. This sort of exhibit could be spread to universities all across the world to amplify the message.

About this project
Creators:
  • Riya
  • Declan
  • Jacob
  • Cathy

April, 2021

Image/graphic, Online/web thing

Canada, Toronto

8.5×11 inches

Public Domain

Download Original/High-Resolution File: UBC-Open-COVID-Pledge.pdf

MemePostcards to politicians

Objective:

By sending out the mentioned memes as a postcard, we wanted to encourage politicians (mostly MEPs), already smpathizing with the idea of supporting the TRIPS-Waiver, in a positive kind of way to post more about their support and hence increase public pressure.

The Project:

In our squad we created funny memes, ironically describing current (european) patent policy or politicians behaviour, whilst pointing out more equitable and efficient solutions that help end the pandemic sooner, for example supporting the TRIPS-Waiver. These were then sent out to MEPs/politicians with an attached letter, to make them state publically their support for TRIPs-Waiver.

TRY THIS:

Share them on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

Make one!

What worked?

The memes were reposted by some NGOs and we also got some positive feedback from a few MEPs. In addition, it helped us a lot to try out Craftivism and using positive vibes to criticize.

Reflections from Elise Potthoff

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

The idea was created during the time when the container ship “Ever Given” was stuck in the Suez Channel and social media was flooded with memes about it. Therefore we also created one meme with this background.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

Flood every politician with a postcard specifically adapted to her/his statements on the TRIPS-topic with a picture of him/her as base of the meme. Also the memes could be printed out largely as big posters to be hung up in public area.

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

It would be also good to try targetting MEPs from the “other side”, not convinced of the TRIPS-Waiver yet. Of course, different texts on the memes could be helpful and also a different letter attached to it. But the procedure could be the same.

About this project
Creators:
  • Samira Shair
  • Ludovico Caminati
  • Kathi Wolfenstetter
  • Maanasa Gurram
  • Hannah Dawson
  • Max Wielenga
  • Alessia Gonfroid
  • Julia Billian
  • Johanna Twittenhoff
  • Owen Lukins
  • Sophie Tragert
  • Elise Potthoff

April, 2021

Image/graphic, Online/web thing, Print, Writing

Germany, Munster

148mm x 105mm

Public Domain

GIFted – How Jonas Salk solved (another) pandemic

Objective:

This series of GIFS aims to tell his story, bring it to (animated and digital) life and bring the gigantic legacy of vaccine titan Jonas Salk into the current debate

The Project:

Jonas Salk is a hero of vaccine development. He helped bring the polio vaccine to live. When he was asked about who should own the patent on this discovery, he answered “Well the people I would say – Could you patent the sun”.

This series of GIFS aims to tell his story, bring it to (animated and digital) life and bring the gigantic legacy of vaccine titan Jonas Salk into the current debate

TRY THIS:

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

Make your own!

What worked?

Just how amazingly Jonas Salk’s portraits are GIFable. Very successful winks etc.

    An original object can be provided for exhibition
  • Original files can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from Peter GIFy

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

Extensive search for GIF making software, finding images of Jonas Salk, being creative.

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

Very contemporay knowledge on GIF making browser software

What were some of the responses to this work?

Likes and retweets.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

Buying aire time on billboards at NYC times square,
striking a deal with JCDecaux to display these GIFS as digital posters on all bus stations across the world.

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

Try different texts, be more provocative, maybe consider TikTok or (oldschool) a flipbook?

About this project
Creators:
  • Peter GIFy

March, 2021

Online/web thing

Germany, Berlin

400×400

Public Domain

Download Original/High-Resolution File: salk_squint_text.gif, sad_text_2.gif, 6326404A-8416-11EB-B757-16F91FFA6CF3.gif, photos.gif, 05901904-8413-11EB-A066-1635AF64B68B.gif, 91351398-8412-11EB-8305-0E2C7966F80F.gif

Covid Conversations

Objective:

Our greater objective was to get NYU to sign the Open Covid Pledge. We identified a target at NYU and thought including something creative in an email to her would make it more likely for her to engage with the email and respond to us.

The Project:

Improv conversations with COVID-19. In particular: a concerned person wanted COVID-19 to go away, so she talked to someone at a university that was doing COVID-19 research, asking them to open up their licensing so that the pandemic would end sooner. The university rep called their big pharma contact and both were skeptical. But then the Plague Doctor appeared and convinced everyone to agree to the Open Covid Pledge.

What worked?

It worked! We included an image from our action in our email to our target and she wrote back right away saying she would be happy to meet with us.

Other Notes:

We knew from research that our target had a background in more creative ways of achieving major health aims.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Links:

Reflections from Rachel Karp

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

We were most taken with the image of talking to COVID-19 and think this could build into a social media campaign of people talking to COVID about how universities/pharmaceutical corporations/health organizations/government entities can make COVID go away–in a way that is safe, equitable, and accessible to all.

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

Things we found that were useful: the person playing COVID-19 changing their profile picture to COVID-19 and turning their camera off, Zoom backgrounds for as many other participants as possible, simple costumes, having an overall outline of what we would say, and trying to move through that outline pretty quickly (because otherwise the improv can get really bogged down). We wanted to make something short–maybe 60 seconds–but we never got it below about 3 minutes. Also, we learned after the fact that using the Zoom recording function doesn’t work because it doesn’t capture the profile image of someone with their camera off, so record through e.g. QuickTime or something that can capture a screen to make sure you get the key image of COVID-19 talking!

About this project
Creators:

October, 2020

Image/graphic, Online/web thing, Performance, Video

United States, Brooklyn

2298 x 1349

Public Domain

Download Original/High-Resolution File: Hawks-Action.png

Dr. Salk’s Ghost Returns to Free the Vaccine

Objective:

1) Create irresistible imagery for a media campaign to work towards our larger goal of having the University of Pittsburgh to Sign the Open Covid Pledge. 2) Raise awareness about Dr. Salk’s connection to vaccine research and open Intellectual property to the greater public. 3) Create a fun and timely halloween-centered work of creative activism

The Project:

Invoking the ghost of vaccine researcher Dr. Jonas Salk, we created humorous gravestones that echo his perspective about vaccine patents when asked about the polio vaccine he developed in Pittsburgh – “could you patent the sun?” Then we dressed up as Dr.Salk and distributed these gravestones (with linked QR codes to learn more) all over The University of Pittsburgh campus where current COVID-19 vaccine research is being done to encourage the same openness and support for a peoples vaccine that is the university’s legacy.

TRY THIS:

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

Channel the Ghost of Salk in your community.

 

What worked?

The creative community process! As a lab, the Juncos worked across different cities with different backgrounds to make this happen. Once we did this action we were empowered to keep going and this led to many more actions and activities in our efforts to get the University of Pittsburgh to sign the Open Covid Pledge.

    A set of instructions exists on how to make this work
  • An original object can be provided for exhibition
  • Original files can be provided for exhibition
  • The work can be reproduced on site with instructions (provided)

Reflections from Joseph Amodei

What were some of the responses to this work?

People were really excited about the halloween timeliness of this work! It even spurred collaboration with another lab across the country (where Salk’s actual gravesite is) and resulted in more exciting imagery and proliferation of this people’s vaccine ethos.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

If there is no people’s vaccine next year (as in no promise to share the IP and the manufacturing technology of current vaccines with the rest of the world for free), then I would make the scale of this 1000x this first iteration to really draw attention to the harm that vaccine profiteering causes to the wider world outside of the USA and other wealthy (via extracted labor and colonialism) countries. In short, to continue to summon and make proud the spirit of Dr.Salk.

Free the Vaccine: Unchained

Objective:

To create a sticker that represents the Free the Vaccine movement so the word can be spread out (by students and such)

The Project:

The image brings to life what the Free the Vaccine campaign stands for, metaphorically. We envision a world where the vaccine is “unchained” and “free” from barriers so individuals all across the world are able to obtain it, without worrying about cost and accessibility.

TRY THIS:

Print it and stick it.

Make it specific to your target.

What worked?

The design is simple, yet to the point and gets across the mission of the campaign pretty effectively. It also makes for a cute sticker, should anyone choose to walk around with it on their personal items!

About this project
Creators:

October, 2020

Image/graphic, Online/web thing

United States, New York

1080 x 1080 pixels

Public Domain

Download Original/High-Resolution File: Free-the-Vaccine-1-1.jpg

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from Eshita Garg

Global Solution

Objective:

To call attention to a problem this large cannot be solved in a vacuum or by one university alone.

The Project:

Twitter graphic, or could be a sticker for a call for a global solution to the pandemic.

STRATEGIES:
TRY THIS:

Print it and post it.

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

What worked?

Ideally the image would lead people to go to the website and find out more and sign the Open Covid Pledge.

About this project
Creators:
  • Stacy Early
  • The Dog Owl Squad
  • Laura Holzman

July, 2020

Image/graphic, Online/web thing, Print

United States, Memphis

Twitter size

Creative Commons BY-NC

Other Notes:

  • Original files can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from Stacy Early

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

Because I am not a writer it was great to work with others who could come up with a pithy message and then I could play with it for different uses. There is a poster that contains this message with a longer explanation so this, a twitter graphic, and the poster can be used simoultaneously for greater impact.

Hands Raised for the People’s Vaccine

Objective:

To make a shareable graphic for social media about the campaign.

The Project:

An image of hands holding up a vaccine.

STRATEGIES:
TRY THIS:

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

Make it specific to your community.

What worked?

It was shared a lot.

About this project
Creators:
  • Eric Olson

July, 2020

Online/web thing, Print

United States, Seattle

1500 x 1500 px

Reflections from Eric Olson