Umberto, Mary and Sam
Umberto, Mary and Sam

Life-line is a series of 26 augmented full-bodied portraits with audible voices of multigenerational members, reflecting the diversity of the Lower East Side community that memorializes people waiting in line.

These portraits, spaced 6 feet apart, are exhibited along the fence at The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center Inc., a Puerto Rican/Latinx multi-arts cultural institution that demonstrates a broad-minded cultural vision and inclusive philosophy rooted in NYC’s Lower East Side/Loisaida. Audience members can pass by the line of photographs and choose to look and listen to the people represented via QR codes on their mobile phone-lines.

Life-line draws from oral history and uses immersive storytelling to expand documentary photography and celebrate what’s worth knowing at this unprecedented moment. The audio portrait augments the usual photographic experience prompting an intimate interaction with a Lower East Sider.

Life-line es una serie de 26 retratos aumentados con las voces de miembros de varias generaciones, que reflejan la diversidad de la comunidad del Lower East Side que conmemoran el acto de esperar en filas durante la pandemia.

Estos retratos se exhiben colgados en una valla al aire libre del Centro Cultural y Educacional Clemente Soto Vélez, una institución puertorriqueña / latina que muestra una visión y filosofía inclusiva arraigada en la ciudad de Nueva York, East Side / Loisaida. El publico puede pasar por la línea de fotografías y mirar y escuchar a las personas representadas a través de códigos QR en sus telefónos móviles.

Life-line se basa en la historia oral y utiliza la narración inmersiva para expandir la fotografía documental y celebrar lo que vale la pena conocer en este momento sin precedentes. El retrato de audio aumenta la experiencia fotográfica habitual y provoca una interacción íntima con una persona del Lower East Side.

Life-line 是一系列 26 幅增强的全身肖像,带有多代成员的声音,反映了下东区社区的多样性,纪念排队等候的人们。

这些相距 6 英尺的肖像沿着围栏展示在 Clemente Soto Vélez 文化与教育中心公司,这是一家波多黎各/拉丁裔多元艺术文化机构,展示了根植于纽约市下城区的博大胸怀的文化视野和包容性哲学 东区/洛赛达。 观众可以通过照片线,并选择观看和聆听通过手机线上二维码代表的人。

Life-line 从口述历史中汲取灵感,并使用身临其境的讲故事来扩展纪实摄影,并庆祝在这个前所未有的时刻值得了解的东西。 音频肖像增强了通常的摄影体验,促进了与下东区人的亲密互动。

Artist Bios

  • Laura Nova

    Laura Nova is an artist, educator and activist who lives and works on New York’s Lower East Side—creating festive, absurdist spectacles that unite generations and diverse communities. The first Public Artist in Residence to be embedded in New York City’s Department for the Aging, Nova brings expertise and empathy to her projects and actions, designing each element to enhance social wellness and decrease social isolation. Working in festivals, public monuments, and the city street, Nova delivers spiels to homebound New Yorkers, organizes an older adult cheerleading squad, and designs crafting kits, guides, and costumes that help nurture emerging activists of all ages. Nova received a BFA and B.A. from Cornell University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an associate professor and program coordinator of expanded media in the creative arts & technology division at Bloomfield College—a college dedicated to serving the underserved. Her long-term goal is to create a municipal Department of Future Aging and Innovation.

  • Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

    Karina Aguilera Skvirsky is a multidisciplinary artist who works between New York and Ecuador. Her practice began in photography and grew into video and performance. In 2019, she received a grant from Creative Capital to produce How to build a wall and other ruins. Her work constructs an expanded history in which she pieces together expert theories to stage performances of labor that were never recorded. The multichannel video will premier in the upcoming Cuenca Biennial XV (2021), curated by Blanca de la Torre in Cuenca, Ecuador. Recent solo exhibitions include: Sacred Geometry at Museo Amparo in Puebla, Mexico and Ponce + Robles Gallery in Madrid, Spain. Other important international exhibitions include her participation in Africamericanos at Centro de la imagen in CDMX (2019) and There is always a cup of sea for man to sail, the 29th São Paulo Biennial in Brazil (2010). Skvirsky is an associate professor at Lafayette College.


  • The Clemente

    The Clemente

    The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center Inc. is a Puerto Rican/Latinx multi-arts cultural institution that has demonstrated a broad-minded cultural vision and inclusive philosophy rooted in New York City’s Lower East Side/Loisaida. While focused on the cultivation, presentation, and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latinx culture, we are equally committed to a multi-ethnic/international latitude—determined to operate in a polyphonic manner that provides affordable working space and venues to artists, small arts organizations, emergent and independent community producers that reflect the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side and our city. As a downtown Latinx cultural staple for close to three decades, The Clemente is the pulpit where countless New York-based Latinx, BIPOC, local LES, and international partners create multi-disciplinary contemporary work and co-productions in a collaborative environment.


 archive : 2021

Featuring: Laura Nova Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

Presented by: The Clemente
  • The Clemente

Supported by:

  • Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
  • New York City Artist Corps
  • NYC Cultural Affairs


View Location Details The Clemente (LES)

107 Suffolk St,
New York,
NY 10002

Location open 24 hours


Life-Line is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by LMCC.

LMCC serves, connects, and makes space for artists and community.

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings