5.11.20 / Global

Art Collective ‘This Immediate Life’ is Capturing the Shared Quarantine Experience

Portraits of isolation

Searching for ways to connect amid isolation, artists Mat + Kat (Mat Sliwa and Kat Bayard), Kelsey Falter, and AHL’s own Sustainability Editor Tansy Kaschak decided to create a new art collective: This Immediate Life. Built around the goal of creating shared experiences—at a time when it’s hard to have any experiences at all—This Immediate Life collects photographs and interviews with people from around the world, each expressing their own versions of isolation. At the heart of the platform are “Instructables,” instructions on how to create content so the act of creation becomes replicated and shared between participants. The first project is simple enough: participants are given instructions on how to take a portrait, with specific guidelines for head and full-body shots, and questions they can answer about their personal experiences. The series has already taken off, with creative types including Mission Chinese founder Danny Bowien, Collina Strada designer Hillary Taymour, and artist Anna Bloda, and is growing every day. There will be new Instructables as the project continues, and while we don’t know how long this quarantine will last, This Immediate Life will be there to collect this shared moment in time.

This Immediate Life is accepting submissions and encourages anyone to get involved. Visit the photo instructions page, and then you can send your images to submissions@thisimmediatelife.org.
Check out some of the submissions and corresponding interviews below.

What do you want people to know about your current experience or how you feel in this photo?

I started to think about the Tiger King and how there’s a little bit of him in all of us. Not in the fucked up animal exploitation way, but in a wanting to be loved way. I was thinking about the unconditional loving that our pets give us and how they act as emotional support.
– Barron Hanson, Brooklyn, NY

What’s your quarantine experience been like?

A blessing in a curse. I panicked for a brief moment, when it all began. I am an arts student with no real financial stability, so the thought of the global economy crashing down was not too pleasant. At first, my reaction was to start reading as much as I could about banks, the stock market and stuff like that. But after a while, I understood that I deeply really don’t care at all about those things, so the next move was to go within, into myself. And it seems like I am finding a lot about myself and the world around these days, I’m actually grateful for this time, even though it might sound weird to most people.
– Paulius Janušonis, Vilnus, Lithuania

What have you been doing to occupy your time?

I follow the plan. And the plan is to touch all these neglected areas and these lonely islands long time have not seen. Its fantastic that finally I have enough time to to read on roof, squeeze fruits and veggies for juices, wearing no bra or make up, sleep with no alarm. Its not going to last forever so Im taking advantage of this time to built myself strong when crisis will pass.
– Anna Bloda, Brooklyn, NY

Do you feel like quarantine has given you a new perspective on yourself or the world around you?

I think this quarantine has brought to light things we already knew, like that society as a whole runs on a whole network of undervalued/underpaid workers. That capitalism is pretty savage and only really serves the few, which is why a lot of the countries across the world are in this mess, because no one wanted to shut borders. That as a whole the Human race needs to slow down. I think what will be interesting is whether what we’ve realised, or what we took for granted, we start to change and we put in and apply new values rather than revert back to our old ones. I really hope that we start to make positive changes on a global scale.
– Kyanisha Morgan, London, UK

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