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PROJECTS
SIDA / AIDS
Title: SIDA / AIDS
Year: 2005
Type: Interactive Animation / Performance

In April of 2005 I received a desperate email from someone who argued that he had sex with me a few years ago and that he is now infected with HIV. He wishes that I am also infected with the virus and that "I die and suffer in the worst possible way". He used the nickname George Tower, a name I do not remember.

I immediately replied to this email but unfortunately my message bounced back. The reply-to address did not exist. In my response I was saying that I do not have HIV and that he should look for advice and support because being HIV positive does not mean that he has to suffer and die. I tell him that he needs treatment and help, and I can provide some support if he ever needs it.

Because the message did not go through, I decided to create SIDA/AIDS as a method of understanding what was going on in the mind of George Tower - as of 2015, I still do not know who this person is. The only way I could let that person know that I care about his illness was by creating and posting this interactive animation, de-constructing his message looking for hidden messages and using a mathematical algorithm that I created in order to visualize the chaos that he is living in. His email becomes a flock of words that grow and fill the screen until they lose their meaning, acquiring only an aesthetic significance.

In his message you can perceive that George Tower is very afraid of death and he does not want anyone to know that he is Gay because of having AIDS - a stigma that still prevails in societies where machismo reigns. You can also see that he still remembered me and he was longing for some form of support. Was George one of those one night stands that you barely recall the following morning? Or was he one of my ex-boyfriends that was still angry at me forcing him to use a pseudonym to vent his anger anonymously? In a lot of ways this project is a study of how the laws of attraction work in the Gay Colombian world.

As part of SIDA/AIDS I created a performance piece where random users can control the animation that is being projected on my naked body. The performer becomes the center of the aggression, reminding us of the way HIV attacks the bodies and minds of the infected ones.

The original message was not altered, keeping all the insults, typos and errors.

Instructions: Click on the red words to view the hidden meaning and move the mouse around to let the words flow.

Requires the latest flash plug-in





SIDA/AIDS:
PERFORMANCE
Performance by Santiago Echeverry
Photos by Jim Lennon ©2009
Santiago Echeverry ©2006




Santiago Echeverry
©2009



OPEN SIDA en español | OPEN AIDS in english | OPEN AIDS 2.0 for gallery display


English Translation
From: GEORGE TOWER
Subject: WEBSITE MESSAGE
Date: April 6, 2005 12:45:33 PM EDT
To: se [@] santiago-e.com
Reply-To: MEKIKE83@YAHOO.COM

HOMOSEXUAL SON OF A BITCH , YOU ARE GOING TO DIE, AND LEARN WITH WHOM YOU GO TO BED WITH BECAUSE YOU HAD SEX WITH ME WITHOUT KNOWING I HAD AIDS, SO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE CONSEQUENCES, I AM CURRENTLY HAVING THE SYMPTOMS, THEY TOOK 5 YEARS TO APPEAR, THEY WILL TAKE LONGER TO APPEAR FOR YOU, BUT YOU DESERVE IT FOR BEING SUCH A FAGGOT PIECE OF CRAP SON OF A BITCH, I HOPE YOU DIE AND SUFFER IN THE WORST POSSIBLE WAY
Open AIDS in English
Original version - including its typos and errors.

From: GEORGE TOWER
Subject: WEBSITE MESSAGE
Date: April 6, 2005 12:45:33 PM EDT
To: se [@] santiago-e.com
Reply-To: MEKIKE83@YAHOO.COM

PEDAZO DE HOMOSEXUAL HIJUEPUTA, DESE POR MUERTO, Y APRENDA CON QUIEN SE ACUESTA POR QUE LAMENTO INFORMARLE QUE UD SE ACOSTO CONMIGO IGNORANDO QUE YO TENIA SIDA, ASI QUE AENGASE A LA S COSECUENCIAS, EN ESTOS MOMENTOS YA ESTOY TENIENDO LOS SINTOMAS, ME TARDARON UNOS 5 AÑOS EN APARECER, A UD LE TARDADRAN MAS, PERO SE LO MERECE POR SER TAN MARIK PEDAZO DE PERRO HIJUEPUTA, OJALA SE MUERA Y SUFRA DE LA PEOR FORMA
Abra SIDA en Español

Response

From: se [at] santiago-e.com
Subject: VIH y SIDA
Date: April 6, 2005 2:35:48 PM EDT
To: MEKIKE83@YAHOO.COM

Hola George Tower

Empezar a tener los sintomas no es simbolo de que se va a morir. Si empieza a tomar la terapia anti retro viral ahora, se pueden revertir. Lo mas importante es mantener la carga viral en niveles imperceptibles.

No puedo saber lo que usted siente en este momento, porque no tengo el VIH. Mi ultimo examen fue en enero. pero si le puedo decir que si necesita hablar de esto con alguien, por favor mandeme un email y dejeme saber lo que siente.

usted esta pasando por una fase que es normal. No es el unico, y no es la primera persona con la que me he acostado que tiene sida. Pero por favor hable y busque ayuda medica, tener el VIH, y hasta tener los sintomas del SIDA ya no es una sentencia de muerte.

De verdad, lo que cuenta es que usted este vivo, saludable y tranquilo.

Mandeme otro email, con mas calma.

Suerte

Santiago


OPEN SIDA en español | OPEN AIDS in english | OPEN AIDS 2.0 for gallery display


ART AGAINST AIDS NETART
AIDS / FDrag Print - Participant Art Against AIDS ® 2009, Feb 26th

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