May We Know Our Own Strength Illuminates Stories of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Survivors

Photograph by  MK Luffin

Integrating visual art and technology into a large-scale sculptural representation of the stories of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya created May We Know Our Own Strength. Presented in conjunction with the Meatpacking BID and NYC Commission on Human Rights, Phingbodhipakkiya, a Public Artist in Residence (PAIR), designed the interactive installation that will transform the accounts of survivors into large room-size sculptures. The high-tech installation employs sixteen internet-connected printers, placed in a high traffic storefront window that will relay anonymous survivors’ stories provided through an online submission form. New Yorkers are invited to submit stories anonymously through the website MayWeKnow.NYC. Each submission immediately activates a printer and lights a corresponding incandescent bulb, visible from a storefront window at 401 W. 14th Street.

The livestream cascading ribbons of paper that emerge from the printers create a 24-hour online visual representation of how many stories are received at a given time. At regular intervals Phingbodhipakkiya will enter the installation and seat herself at the base of the growing heap, beginning a brief ritual to affirm human dignity and courage in the face of adversity. She will then weave these printed stories into a collection of intricate hanging paper sculptures. The artist will hold a nightly vigil every evening at 8PM in memory of the six Asian women killed by a white shooter in Atlanta, Georgia. May We Know Our Own Strength is on display April 1 through May 15 at 401 W. 14th Street in the Meatpacking District