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Injection Site: Making the Vaccines Visible (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Jilda, Nine Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Sheyenne, Three Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Chip, 5 Hours Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Graham, Two Days Post Injection from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Isabella, One Day Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Daryl, Two Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Ahmad, One Day Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Markie, 4 Hours Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Cameron, One Day Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Krista, 4 Hours Post Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Marvin, Three Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Candace, Two Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site: Making the Vaccine Visible (2021- )

Alice, Nine Days Post Injection, from the series Injection Site: Making the Vaccine Visible (2021- )

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Evander, Fourteen Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Destiny, Nineteen Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Joanne, 1 Hour Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Charles, Eleven Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Chet, Twenty-Nine Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Phyllis, Three Days Post Injection from the series Injection Site: Making the Vaccine Visible (2021- )

David, 11 Hours Post Injection from the series Injection Site: Making the Vaccine Visible (2021- )

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Joe, Seventeen Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

James, Six Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Jackson, Three Days Post Injection from the series Injection Site: Making the Vaccine Visible (2021- )

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Rabbi, Thirteen Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Jaymi, Eleven Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Briney, Three Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Tom, 4 Hours Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Monika, Six Days Post Injection from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Jorge, Seven Hours Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Ray, 3 Hours Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Naomi, Ten Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Linda Alterwitz, Injection Site

Olga, Four Days Post-Injection, from the series Injection Site (2021-2023)

Injection Site exhibition at Lilley Museum of Art, University of Nevada, Reno, 2023

Injection Site exhibition at Lilley Museum of Art, University of Nevada, Reno, 2023

Injection Site exhibition at Lilley Museum of Art, University of Nevada, Reno, 2023

Injection Site exhibition at Lilley Museum of Art, University of Nevada, Reno, 2023

On May 11, 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services declared an end to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Yet, attitudes towards vaccines continue to be a dividing factor both socially and politically regarding personal choice versus public health.

In 2020, I thought deeply about how art could make a substantial impact upon the politically charged global medical crisis. When the first COVID-19 vaccines were distributed in January 2021, I used a high-resolution thermal camera to photograph the arms of participants after having received the vaccine. I have photographed over 170 participants’ arms at their injection sites, documenting and creating a trace of each person’s reaction to the vaccine. The photographs were taken at different stages based on the amount of time since injection, ranging from fifteen minutes to four weeks after receiving the vaccine.

The resulting photographs reveal each participant’s unique immunological response to the injection, tracking the degree of physical reaction to the vaccine in a way that corresponds to their individual physiology. Some photographs reveal more heat radiating and spreading through an arm, while others reveal minimal visual heat.

In 2022, I expanded the parameters of this project and began photographing the arms of participants who received any vaccine including mpox, HPV, shingles, pneumonia, hepatitis B, and flu. Each portrait takes on a surreal quality that invites the viewer to engage in a difficult subject matter, illuminating the fact that vaccines are not neutral to our bodies.

It is my intention that this series of photographs will ignite conversation and inspire the viewer to pause, consider the actions and feelings of others, and strive toward a mutual understanding that will help promote and preserve the health and well-being for all of us.

These images are captured with a high-resolution thermal camera. 

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