Jack Waters/Victor F.M. Torres, (eye, virus), 2019

For the thirtieth annual Day With(out) Art on December 1, 2019, Visual AIDS presented STILL BEGINNING, a program of seven newly commissioned videos responding to the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic by Shanti Avirgan, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Carl George, Viva Ruiz, Iman Shervington, Jack Waters/Victor F.M. Torres, and Derrick Woods-Morrow. Recalling Gregg Bordowitz’s reminder that “THE AIDS CRISIS IS STILL BEGINNING,” the video program resists narratives of resolution or conclusion, considering the continued urgency of HIV/AIDS in the contemporary moment while revisiting resonant cultural histories from the past three decades. STILL BEGINNING screened at 110 venues worldwide, premiering at the Whitney Museum of American Art on December 1, with additional marquee screenings at the Brooklyn Museum in collaboration with The Studio Museum in Harlem, as well as the MCA Chicago and MOCA LA.

Through an experimental collage of video and pictographs, (eye, virus) explores how conversations around disclosure, stigma, and harm reduction shift across generations and from public to private realms. Combining street interviews with footage from a punk show and a mobile testing site, the video centers pleasure and community as it expands the conversation around HIV to include hepatitis C and the opioid epidemic. (eye, virus) extends from documentation of a 2017 public program titled AIDS OS Y Version 10.11.6, and is collaboratively produced with Nikki Sweet.

Commissioned by Visual AIDS for STILL BEGINNING: The 30th Annual Day With(out) Art

Jack Waters is a visual artist, film maker, writer, media artist, choreographer and performer. Jack’s work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, the New York and London Film Makers Cooperatives, Center for Contemporary Culture Barcelona, and Anthology Film Archives. With his partner Peter Cramer, Jack co-directed ABC No Rio from 1983–1991 and founded the non-profit arts umbrella Allied Productions, Inc., as well as the community art garden Le Petit Versailles. The first part of Jack’s musical opus Pestilence will premiere at LaMaMa Experimental Theater Club in Spring 2020. His visual art can be seen on the Visual AIDS Artist Registry.

Victor F. M. Torres is an intermedia artist born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Torres holds an MFA in Intermedia and Digital Arts and a BA in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, both from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is an Adjunct Faculty at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Torres has taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Stevenson University, George Mason University, and UMBC. He is the author of Language Writes Myth Writes Reality: Or How Does the Acculturated Body Take the Role of Culture Maker?. Torres’ sculptural work snapshots the relationship between information retention, capacitive touch, and bronze age aesthetics, thinning the threshold between primitivism and futurism. His work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Monmouth Museum, MIX NYC, Maryland Art Place, and Grace Exhibition Space, among others.