I received a few messages from people, friends who wanted to contribute to the campaign but because of illness or other personal situations could not manage it.
Creating this type of project is expensive. I want everyone to get a copy of the book, but it costs money to produce.
I asked Kickstarter about a referral system, hereby known as the “Buddy system”. Kickstarter does not allow this to be done on their site, but what I do outside of the kickstarter site is up to me. So, in order to help fund the project (and I do need help!) and give folks with out the resources to get a copy of the book, I came up with this plan.
If you get 3 people to back the project at the $85.00/copy of book level, you will get a copy of the book and be acknowledged the same. The people who back the project on your behalf MUST send a message letting me know who their “Buddy” is so I can keep track and make sure you get your copy of the book. So if you send out a few emails and contact a few friends, you can get a copy of the book and be instrumental in the successful funding of this project, it’s a win-win situation. “The Buddy System” will start with new backers as of Monday, December 7, and ship only to the U.S.
Remember there are only 4 days left to the campaign. So, start going through your contacts and work it! The Kickstarter link is: http://kck.st/1PUiHzJ
We’re all set, we crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s and we ready to go!
I will be launching the kickstarter campaign for “the AIDS activist project” tomorrow, Wednesday, October 28, at 10 a.m.
I’m excited, and a little nervous, to launch this campaign. Most of you know this is the second round at fundraising for the project. I was disappointed I didn’t succeed the first time. But, in the spirit of activism, and for my ACT UP comrades, I’m giving my all to get the project completed.
You can help!
If you haven’t already, share or go to “the AIDS activist project” Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/theaidsactivistproject – invite your friends to like the page. I will keep everyone updated on the progress and share news and images about the project.
The project website – https://theaidsactivistproject.org – features many images that will be included in the book and will be updated as the campaign progresses. I’ll be posting to the blog there, your comments are always welcome.
Your input and help are important to the success of “the AIDS activist project”. I appreciate the time it takes to share the information more than I can say. And always, feel free to share any questions or comments you have.
I attended the Opening Exhibit of “positive/negative: HIV/AIDS” last night at New York University.Seeing work from “the AIDS activist project” included with other artists, such as David Wojnarowicz and Hunter Reynolds, whose work influenced me so much, and who I respect as artists was humbling.
Among the works were video clips showing the “Day of Desperation”, when ACT UP took over Grand Central Terminal in NYC. This was the ultimate flash mob. The entire terminal was turned into an ACT UP action. Seeing that power again; going back to the days when people were literally fighting for their lives is incredible.
The exhibit will be on display and open to the public from October 12, 2015 through January 15, 2016. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Work from “the AIDS activist project” will be included in the new exhibition at Fales Library. The opening will be this Friday, October 9th at NYU’s Fales Library, 70 Washington Square South, 3rd floor.
Following is the exhibition descrition:
Culled from the archives of the Fales Library, positive/negative: HIV/AIDS examines both the compassionate and the callous responses to the AIDS epidemic (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) in America during the 1980s and 1990s, with specific relation to politics, education, faith, and the arts.
“Quite correctly, much historic record has emphasized the negative reactions that permeated the early years of AIDS,” said curator Brent Phillips, Fales media archivist. “However, through all the malice and death, scores of citizens banded together in a profound, positive manner.”
positive/negative: HIV/AIDS primarily features items from the Fales Downtown Collection, including archival documents, correspondence, photographs, posters, clothing, art works, literature, and rare audiovisual material that cover both the emergence of and reception to AIDS. Also on view: Patina Du Prey’s Memorial Dress by Hunter Reynolds, unrealized art conceptions by artist David Wojnarowicz, and selections from Bill Bytsura’s ACT-UP photograph collection.
“Fales did not intentionally set out to document this epidemic,” said Phillips. “But unquestionably the impact of AIDS proved devastating for the New York downtown arts scene in the 1980s and 1990s. The numerous archives that make up the Fales Downtown Collection reflect this violent disruption of imagination, the overwhelming loss, and also the nearly unprecedented humanitarian achievement AIDS motivated in New York – and throughout the country.“
I’ve received quite a few emails asking when we would be launching the kickstarter campaign for the book of “the AIDS activist project”. I was aiming for early March, but, obviously that didn’t happen.
I have been putting the new team together, and we have been looking at ways of bringing the costs down. Going back to everyone involved and talking to them has taken a bit longer. Everyone involved with the production of the book has been willing to chip in and help bring the cost down. In addition we are looking at less expensive printing options. These include downsizing a bit and the types of covers we can use. But the images themselves will be reproduced in the highest quality we can manage.
So, at this point, we are in the process of redoing the kickstarter post, organizing the video shoot, and redoing the budget as well. This will probably take several more weeks. I will give everyone a “heads up” a week or so before we launch.
I’d like to thank everyone for their continued interest and I hope I can count on you for your support when we launch the campaign in the near future.
Since we did not meet the crowd-funding goal for the project on kickstarter in October, we did not receive any funds for the printing of the book, “the AIDS activist project”.
Although this was a huge disappointment, I haven’t given up on publishing this book.
I have spent the time since then to meet with everyone involved with printing the book. Because the first round for funding wasn’t successful, every one involved chipped in and we brought the cost of the book down significantly while keeping the print quality high.
I am putting together another budget and I will re-launch the crowd-funding campaign in February of 2015. I’m hoping we have the book in-hand by November of 2015.
I want to thank every one who supported the project with the first kickstarter campaign and hope that I can count on your support for the re-launch in February of 2015.
I’ve known Billy for way longer than either of us would care to consider or admit; since before the AIDS epidemic began to rage. Indeed, I knew Randy whose untimely passing inspired this body of work.
He has enumerated many of the material expenses he incurred and these are indeed significant. But I offer personal testimony to the passion, emotion, urgency, and commitment he has invested over more than two decades to bring this project to fruition. Please believe me, his motivation is not financial gain.
His book is a work of fine art, and reflects the dedication of a truly fine heart.
Thank you Dennis O’Clair at Media276!!
In support of AIDS Acitivism and Awareness, Media276 created this video for the the AIDS activist project. This project will help raise funds for a Photography Book of Portraits of AIDS Activists, many of whom are no longer with us. Photographer Bill Bytsura, created beautiful BW portraits of over 200 of these courageous people. Check out the video or visit the Kickstarter page to learn more about this meaningful project.
From John Henry Summerour, Director of the film Sahkanaga.
We received this message from a contributor to “the AIDS activist project”.
It sums up all this project is about and what it is for.
“I’m extremely lucky to be a little too young (only a little) to have lost friends to this back in the 1980’s and 1990’s but my heart goes out to these guys who struggled through it. I’m so grateful that my good friends with HIV have a healthy future to look forward to thanks to guys like you pushing things forward.
Really hope you reach your target.”
Please share information about our kickstarter campaign. We still have a long way to go!
It was great to talk about the work with Julie, a fellow AIDS activist. Recalling the times of the AIDS Crisis was sometimes difficult, remembering the people who are not with us now. But, as we spoke, I again realized the importance of putting this book and and honoring the Activists and the movement that caged the course of the AIDS Crisis.
The Kickstarter Camaign to publish “the AIDS activist project” book is underway!
From 1989 to 1998 I worked on this project to honor the people who fought the AIDS Crisis. I traveled across the US and around the world to photograph AIDS Activists and collect personal statements. Now, it’s time to complete the project by publishing the images and words of these brave people in book form. Some people are gone and others fight on.
This book is a tribute to the AIDS Activists who fought, and the worldwide AIDS Activist movement, they changed the course of history and the AIDS Crisis.
Please help make this book a reality by pledging through Kickstarter and spreading the word. The link to the Kickstarter campaign page is:
We just finished the new version of the website for the AIDS activist project. Come and have a look, leave a comment! Share it with friends, family, close acquaintances, and the person sitting next to you.
And don’t forget, the Kickstarter campaign begins Wednesday, September 10th!!
Thanks to Gregg Greenwood at DataHarvest for his help on the new website.