Project Year: 1998
Location: Manhattan’s Lower East Side

For Between Dreams and History, I wanted to illuminate the New York immigrant experience by giving visual form to the personal and collective memories and imaginings of residents of the Lower East Side.  I interviewed 75 long time residents from diverse ethnic backgrounds and age groups who were generous and trusting enough to share with me their memories. Residents wrote down –in their mother tongue- their favorite childhood songs, poems, sleeping dreams, wishes,  night time prayers, intuitions, and memories of the neighborhood from their youth.  Using an animated laser projection technique that we developed, excerpts from these texts were then literally written out, letter by letter, in blue laser light -in English, Chinese, Yiddish, and Spanish- over a several week period on Rivington and Ludlow streets, inscribing the architecture of the neighborhood with the handwritten memories of its residents.