How can we memorialize and visualize the extraordinary loss of life caused by COVID-19, even as it continues to rage throughout the world? Media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (born Mexico City, 1967) responds with A Crack in the Hourglass, a transitory “anti-monument” for the time of the pandemic and the ways it has halted public rituals of mourning. In this participatory artwork, a modified robotic plotter deposits grains of hourglass sand onto a black surface to recreate the images of those lost due to COVID-19. After each portrait is completed, the surface tilts and the same sand is recycled into the next portrait, echoing the collective and ongoing nature of the pandemic.
Those seeking a way to mourn loved ones lost during the pandemic are invited to participate in this ongoing project. Submit a photograph of the deceased at www.acrackinthehourglass.net, accompanied by a personalized dedication. The resulting memorials will be available, via livestream and in archive form, on the project's website. In our galleries, the robotic plotter and physical representations of the memorials serve as a space to collectively mourn, reflect, and connect, and to honor victims of COVID-19 in New York City—an area with one of the highest number of pandemic-related deaths in the United States—and worldwide.
For questions about the project, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.