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.

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

Funk Rally Lab Coats

Objective:

The lab coats were part of a larger initiative part of the DC funk rally. The lab coats gave the impression of the scientific community attending the rally in support of health equity and the use of research for the public good. The aspect of color on the lab coats added to the “fun” and “fresh” element of the Funk Rally allowing for the rally to be more lighthearted.

The Project:

These are labcoats inspired by the 60s and 70s for the Washington D.C. Funk Rally held in October of 2020. The lab coats are adorned with flowers, health equity quotes, and slogans pushing the University of Maryland to support COVID-19 vaccine equity.

TRY THIS:

Design your own lab coat.

Make it specific to your community.

What worked?

The color of the lab coat really added to the overall aesthetic of the funk rally and made for good pictures that are then used for publicizing the event and our message.

Other Notes:

The Funk Rally was held in Washington D.C. in October of 2020 to not only mourn the lives lost to COVID-19 but to celebrate the concept of life and ensuring that the living is able to get equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine in order to end the pandemic for all.

    An original object can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from Tayyiaba Farooq

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

It was a fun and interesting learning experience for someone that does not have a background in art. I was able to draw inspiration from the art style of the 60s and 70s to create the flowers and color choice of the slogans and quotes used.

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

The collaborators served as amazing models for the labcoats and brought them to life. The labcoats wouldn’t be anything without the people to wear them.

What were some of the responses to this work?

All responses were really positive to the labcoats especially as a larger part of the Funk Rally. It added color to the rally and the pictures that were taken. Adding to the aesthetic and adding to the overall color and mood of the Free the Vaccine Campaign.

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?

I would create a larger photo mural with individuals who are doctors and scientists who are advocates for the campaign. Doing indiviudal profiles on these people, telling their stories and their motivations will further add color and dtail to the campaign.

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

Always plan out how you want to execute your idea before going into the final product. Going through the planning process further enhances the idea to be executed.

About this project
Creators:
  • Tayyiaba Farooq
  • Maanasa Gurram
  • Manahel Zahid
  • Victoria Carter
  • Alvina Pan

October, 2020

Fabric

United States, Washington

7 lab coats

Public Domain

D.C. Funk Rally

Objective:

To educate the public and advocate for a People’s Vaccine.

The Project:

A rally to mourn loss, celebrate life, and encourage our institutions to do better and provide a People’s Vaccine.

TRY THIS:

Make it specific to your community.

Organize one where you live.

What worked?

Images from the Funk Rally made it into national and international news.

Other Notes:

We started with a New Orleans Jazz-style funeral to mourn the overwhelming loss of life and then transitioned to a festive rally inspired by DC-based Go-Go music and 1970s fashion.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Links:

Reflections from Tayyiaba Farooq

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

The Funk Rally came out a need to represent the grim seriousness of the campaign and Trump’s failure are president to adequately combat the pandemic while also painting a picture of hope for the future. At first organizers had wanted to keep the tone very serious and somber, but together with other ally organizations we can up with theming of Funk and imagery from the 70s. The rally was also adapted from a traditional New Orleans Jazz Funeral where they do not only mourn the end, but celebrate the very concept of life. The inspiration of this went in to the color of parade decorations, the lab coats with flowers and inspirational quotes, as well as the displaying local music culture. Altogether we were able to create something that was full of life and solidarity for our community. The approach we had taken to demanding action on ending the pandemic and ensuring an accessible vaccine was unique to our rally and was derived from the principles of creative activism. This out of the box approach had really gotten the attention of people that would have not otherwise cared. It was a great example of ally organizations coming together to make something positive, and from my perspective really launched the idea of vaccine accessibility at the University of Maryland.

What were some of the responses to this work?

People were able to dance in the street, create a beautiful mural at the end, and receive positive attention from onlookers and those who featured us in the press. The imagery produced from the campaign is still being used, and just goes to show the impact this one event has had on the campaign at large.

About this project
Creators:
  • Free the Vaccine for Covid-19

October, 2020

Image/graphic, Performance

United States, Washington

Varies

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Link to Original or High-Res file

PAID!

A social media post to show your tax dollars have already paid to create COVID related medicines and vaccines, why pay again?

TRY THIS:

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

Print it and post it.

Build a mail campaign around it.

Objective:

To make people aware that their tax dollars were used for COVID related research. The tax day dates were used on the ‘bill’ to reflect when we have paid.

About this project
Creators:
  • Stacy Early

July, 2020

Image/graphic

United States, Memphis

Facebook Post size

Creative Commons BY-NC

Download Original/High-Resolution File: PAID.png



What worked?

I think that it’s direct in saying by paying for something with our taxes we shouldn’t have to pay an inflated price for the finished product later. And that since we all pay taxes, we all should have access to the medicines and vaccines.

Other Notes:

  • Original files can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from Stacy Early

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

Hearing from the Free the Vaccine leadership group that our tax dollars are paying for COVID related research, then having our tax day delated due to COVID was the inspiration for this.

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?

It would be fun to send this to every person that paid taxes as a type of voucher for them to send to the big pharma companies to claim their ‘free’ vaccine.

Carnival March for a People’s Vaccine

Objective:

We’re asking the target universities to sign the Open Covid Pledge, to stop drug companies profiteering with publicly funded research. In the UK people are used to free healthcare, and unused to thinking about the injustice of health inequalities and the malign role of drug companies. Consequently the universities feel limited pressure. This action was a show of strength from the campaign, to increase pressure on the universities, as well as a public awareness raising effort, through the street presence to a limited extent, but mostly through the social and traditional media interest we generated.

The Project:

Activists in giant Covid-19 masks joined syringe wielding students in lab coats, beside neon pink dancing protestors, to call on London’s universities to pledge to make their healthcare research on Covid-19 available to the world. The Carnival March for a People’s Vaccine took place on July 27, 2020, from Kings College London (Guy’s Campus) to University College London, asking the universities to sign the Open Covid Pledge, to stop drug companies profiteering with publicly funded research.

TRY THIS:

Organize one in your community.

Make it even bigger.

What worked?

The costumes! Despite a gray day in London, you couldn’t miss us in our neon pink and giant covid head costumes. There were lots of banners, and placards, and QR codes so that passers by and social media viewers could understand the action clearly.

About this project
Creators:

July, 2020

Installation/Intervention, Performance, Video

United Kingdom, London

1’40”

Public Domain

Link to Original or High-Res file

Other Notes:

It was a great collaboration between Free the Vaccine volunteers and volunteers from Universities Allied for Essential Medicines UK, Just Treatment, Stop AIDs, Act Up UK, and other access to healthcare activists.

    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

Links:

157 registers:

Reflections from Rachel Reid

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

Lots of collaborative planning meetings interspersed with lots of glue and paint, following by lots of dancing and lots of walking!

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

We benefited from some deep experience in the group, from the activists who thought to consult lawyers about our rights before the action, to people with wide media and communications experience, to artists.

What were some of the responses to this work?

For the giant covid head wearers it varied from Londoner indifference to laughter to lots of pictures. Generally people who approached us were sympathetic and interested.

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

Have a sub-group working on communications, including traditional, not just social. There was lots still to do at the last minute (as ever!)

Inflatable Giant Syringe

Objective:

Pressure the university to sign the open covid pledge

The Project:

A giant inflatable syringe was installed on the grounds of Melbourne University

TRY THIS:

Make one

What worked?

It made us aware of the impact of a novel, physical object in a public space.

About this project
Creators:
  • Tessa Marshall
  • Greg Giannis

July, 2020

Installation/Intervention

Australia, Melbourne

5 x 1 x 1 m

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Download Original/High-Resolution File: GiantSyringeInstructions.pdf

Other Notes:

Australia has many ‘giant’ objects (Giant Prawn, Giant Pineapple etc) in prime tourist locations and this study of the vernacular led to the idea of the giant syringe.

    A set of instructions exists on how to make this work

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

Look at the available resources and get an idea of how you will approach the making of the inflatable. Experiment with a smaller prototype to get a feel for the materials and process, and to help decide how to proceed. Have fun!!!

UCLA vs USC Mascot Stop Motion Animation

Objective:

Playing on the long standing sports rivalry between schools, this animation was created as part of a social media push to encourage UCLA to sign the Open Covid Pledge before USC.

The Project:

Images of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC) mascots, made entirely of cut paper, are animated to depict the UCLA Bruin kicking the USC Trojan out of frame, and then ringing the Victory Bell.

TRY THIS:

Make it specific to your community.

What worked?

The humor

About this project
Creators:

July, 2020

Image/graphic, Video

United States, Los Angeles

7 second video, GIF

Public Domain

Other Notes:


The cut paper elements were assembled and photographed by Kaity, and Vivian added background, digitized the animation, and formatted the animation for various social media platforms.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

Vivian has been very encouraging of the idea of stop motion throughout the lab, so it was a true collaboration between the two of us to make this happen. I think we both are pleased with the results.

A PANDEMIC LIMERIK

Objective:

Initially the limerick was an effort to get published during poetry month, but the zine was just an effort to keep creating

The Project:

a printable file to be shared, printed colored, and folded into a little zine.

https://www.facebook.com/architectkl/posts/10106736906731858
TRY THIS:

Print it and share it.

Redesign it.

Write your own version.

What worked?

its really cute, and the limerik is memorable.

About this project
Creators:

July, 2020

Image/graphic

United States, Pittsburgh

8 1/2 X 11

Public Domain

Download Original/High-Resolution File: free-the-vaccine.pdf

Other Notes:

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

Reflections from Kisha Patterson

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

it was very collaborative and it felt like a small thing to move the world to a nearly insurmountable goal.

What were some of the responses to this work?

a little joy

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

start small, it cold get bigger

Stick Me.

Description:

The Stick Me. sticker is for people to stick on each other, like playing tag. If stuck with a sticker, they have to come to the table to find out why. Once someone is ‘stuck’ and find out about signing on to the Open Covid Pledge as an individual they will ideally sign it, get a sticker that says ‘I stuck it to _______’ and fill in the blank and add to a poster to visually represent those that have signed the Open Covid Pledge. The last step is a selfie prop where they can fill the university or org they stuck it to and share on social media and tag the university and others to encourage them to sign on. They can take some ‘stick me for free’ stickers to put around different places to encourage people to go to the website and see what it’s all about.

Objective:

This could be for a physical action, a series of stickers and posters that encourage people to interact with each other. Great for a tabling event.

About this project
Creators:
  • Stacy Early

July, 2020

Image/graphic, Installation/Intervention, Print

United States, Memphis

Varies

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Download Original/High-Resolution File:

What worked?

Ideally the success of this would be people having fun, being included, and feeling like they have the power to make a difference by signing the pledge.

Other Notes:

This work had input from the Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 group in general, and C4AA for their inspirational how to get people to act videos!

Reflections from Stacy Early

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

This one took me a little bit to get to. I had tried another interactive piece, but was a bit too involved. After stepping back, watching the C4AA videos, this just kind of came to me. Being able to bounce ideas off others in the group helped, hearing what was needed and wanted allowed me to think more creatively, I wasn’t thinking about this just for me.

Interpretive Statement

User Instructions

Print it and use it! 

Make a version for social media.