911 : 343 Crickets

Process book and finished piece (bottom).

A tribute to the New York firefighters who lost their lives saving others on September 11th, 2001. The crickets and lights both lend themself to the same metaphor, which not only represents the fallen heroes, but also more literally, a device worn by them to alert others when they were in distress. The unit is called a Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) and amongst the almost 3,000 killed that day, 343 firefighters chirped beneath the rubble never to be answered. This piece focuses on the stillness of Lower Manhattan, with only debris and ash left moving in the streets. The only sound above the faint cry of emergency vehicles that hadn’t been demolished by the collapsing buildings was the sound of these crickets, incessantly crying for help.

Project was inspired by the video of doctor Mark Heath, who arrived at the scene on 9/11 as the second tower collapsed. 343 lights for the fallen firefighters in the recognizable shape of the twin towers. It was displayed with a set of headphones attached, playing the overpowering sound sound of the devices on loop, and two small fans on the bottom to swirl ashes contained inside the box.

UMass Dartmouth, Fall 2011