Love in the Time of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (SOS)
Table lamps, incandescent bulbs, acrylic, Arduino
Image: Kyle Herrera
In 2018, there were roughly 16,000 deaths among adults and adolescents with diagnosed HIV in the United States and 6 dependent areas. This equates to about 44 deaths per day (just shy of 2 every hour). Love In the Time of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or SOS, brings to light the tragedy of HIV and AIDS-related deaths in a literal way. In memorializing those who have passed, two lovers in the form of lamps signal visually the International Morse Code for “S.O.S.” every 30 minutes. This code is used as a start-of-message mark for transmissions requesting help when loss of life is imminent. This work, with its emanating light, reemerges and vanishes throughout the day and into the night. The two lamps, regardless of any attention or consideration, keep on beating, sending out soundless signals for relief over and over.