Dec 1, 2014, 11:05AM

Backstory: 13 years of HIV/AIDS on Wikipedia


Florian Kräutli, *BackStory: 13 years of HIV/AIDS on Wikipedia*, screenshot of prototype (2014)

Florian Kräutli, BackStory: 13 years of HIV/AIDS on Wikipedia, screenshot of prototype, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

ICA observes the 25th Day With(out) Art, taking place on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2014, with a new web-based commission by Berlin-based artist and designer Florian Kräutli.


BackStory: 13 years of HIV/AIDS on Wikipedia is an online visualization tool which allows viewers to explore a subjective, contested, and constantly expanding history of HIV/AIDS, through a chronology of revisions to Wikipedia articles on this topic.

Watch this short video to learn how BackStory works:

Between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on World AIDS Day, BackStory: 13 years of HIV/AIDS on Wikipedia will occupy the home page of ICA’s website, compelling visitors to engage viscerally in memory and loss in an ever-evolving narrative of this social crisis.

After this twenty-four hour observation of Day With(out) Art, BackStory: 13 years of HIV/AIDS on Wikipedia will remain on a separate page on ICA’s website until February 1, 2015.

Organized by Becky Huff Hunter, Communications Associate, with assistance from Other Means.

This project builds upon Kräutli’s original BackStory visualization tool, developed by the artist during the Getty-funded summer institute Beautiful Data: Telling Stories with Open Art Collections (2014) at Harvard metaLAB.

December 1st is Day With(out) Art, organized by Visual AIDS and held each year as an international day of action and awareness in response to the AIDS crisis.

Because of the growing rate of HIV infection each year in Philadelphia alone, a rate more than 50% higher than residents of New York City and five times the national average, ICA is using this nation-wide event as an opportunity to increase awareness among at-risk communities and the general public in Philadelphia.
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