Troy, NY
United States
Broadway, between River St. and 2nd St. Troy Survivor's Knot since 22 August 2004
12 names
After the success of combined antiretroviral therapies in the late 1990's, AIDS patients lived longer but were not seen as survivors. In 2004 artist Steed Taylor decided to address this. Inspired by the expression "long-term survivor" used for cancer patients at the time, he decided to honor the resilience and perseverance of AIDS survivors, like himself, by doing a series of public artworks called Survivor's Knots. Part of his popular road tattoos series, which are commemorative, site-specific, community-based, tattoo-inspired, public artworks on roads, he developed a Celtic design based on an earlier public work which explored his mortality. The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY was interested in sponsoring a Survivor's Knot and worked with the supportive city government to get approval and included the piece into their exhibition, Space Invaders. On a cobblestone street in the historic city center, the installation began early in the morning on August 22nd with the help of local high school students and friends and staff at the Arts Center. The AIDS Council of Northeastern New York supplied 12 names of local long-term AIDS survivors and the number of years surviving AIDS and brought many of the survivors to watch, help and speak with the students during the installation. After the information was painted in the piece using the same black latex use to paint the design, blessings and well wishes were said and the information was painted over sealing it in the design. Lauded by the city, the road tattoo was used as a catalyst to discuss AIDS-related issues in the press and community. Subtle, close in color to the roadway but reflective so it appeared and disappeared with passing light, the road tattoo lasted many years. Eventually traffic and weather conditions dissolved it into the road.

The Arts Center of the Capital Region