Our Collective Pandemic Experience and more..

All Is One is a multi-media art project that provocatively profiles our collective pandemic experience in 2020. The pandemic has shed light on our country’s inability to speak openly about important issues surrounding race, class, politics and mental health. Driven by my own previous inability to have meaningful conversations about these quasi-taboo topics, I created an art project encouraging New Yorkers to exercise their freedom of speech without fear of judgment, all the while hearing the voices and opinions of those around them.

The Initial Idea

How did it start?

The idea to create All Is One came to me in the spring of 2020, at the height of the pandemic season here in New York. I experienced people dancing around contraversial subjects such as inequality, injustice and discrimination in this country both in my own personal converastions and in media. Our inability to speak openly about how we feel and what we’re living through has only perpetuated the feeling of divisiveness and separation that we’ve been experiencing in recent years. 

I created All Is One to make a positive, artistic contribution that encouraged listening and understanding without the fear of being judged or misunderstood. This project features voices and stories of New Yorkers from all walks of life, explaining their feelings candidly and teaching through storytelling.

Pilot (Phase 1) of the Project

The project began in August 2020, when I worked with 15 participants who volunteered via an open call to have their portraits taken and their words recorded. I set up a 1:1 photo shoot and conversation with each person.

The process

The sessions started from a general question about the participants’ own pandemic experience; none of the conversations was directed, planned, or scripted. To put them at their ease in being fully honest, I ensured anonymity for all participants in the final installation. To do so, I separated the voices of all participants from their images, making it impossible to decipher which statement belongs to which portrait. I then grouped excerpts of the conversations into a single soundtrack and paired it with in certain instances with digital, randomized animation of the participants’ photos or with a single image. 

As a result of the Pilot studio sessions I was able to identify 15 main themes that were coming up for people during this pandemic time.

The excerpts of conversations related to particular themes were then grouped into one soundtrack.

You can listen to them on my IG page (see the posts with Audio Waves and Yellow Titles) or on my Vimeo Page. 


Importance of this Project

In short, All Is One is an innovative storytelling project, created collaboratively by myself and my participants. The project aims for us to educate ourselves about each other, fostering togetherness in our communities and providing a sense of courage by answering the questions we’re often afraid to ask ourselves.

The next stage of the project is to raise funds in order to scale up my production. With additional funding, I’ll be able to extend the open call and include the stories of many more New Yorkers and create a public art installation.