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"Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee."
(from the poem "No Man is an Island", y John Donne)
Human relationships are based on the connections, both material and immaterial, between individuals and the universe that surrounds them. These relations create a web that exceeds the immediate surroundings of our everyday routine, leading to an interaction that affects not just our own lives but all of humanity. Therefore, the memorial to the victims of Covid-19 is necessary not just for the families who lost someone, but also for the society as a whole, as they can help us to deal with the grief and reestablish the connections that were lost.
The memorial “Among Us” was designed to be installed in several places that were affected by the pandemic, in order to reach a great number of people. It is an interactive installation proposed as a urban furniture that should provide a break from the tribulations of normal life in the cities to reflect about the lives that were lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The human existence is considered a cycle shaped by life and death. Life appears in the shape of a half circle, a material arch made of steel. On the other hand, death is portrayed by the reflection on the water: it´s not tangible, it´s immaterial but it is present. The reflecting pool in the center of the project represents the victims among us that went from the material to the immaterial existence, referenced by the water which brings the idea of continuity.
The pandemic established social distancing depriving people of most physical contact. Therefore, the Project intents to establish touch as a necessary element during the interaction with the structure. Through touch on the LED surface of the arches, they will start to light up gradually according to the number of interactions until it reaches maximum glow. From this moment, the structure will start to turn off, encouraging ongoing interaction of the public to keep it on.
Light is capable to propagate in space, carrying energy with itself. Thus, the lighting up of the installation represents spiritual energy, felt during the moment of reflection and touch, becoming luminous energy, outsourcing a feeling. The innumerous light spots mean the immensurable number of victims.
According to quantum physics, the number 11 has high frequency because it´s the first number made by the repetition of two algorisms, meaning its energy is duplicated. This number was chosen as the period necessary to light up the structure by touch, leveraging the user’s reflection, capable of changing, through the vibrating field, the energy that revolve them. When a live is interrupted, this energy does not disappear, it becomes a connection between two plans.
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