Critical Objects: Week 1


  • Verónica Alfaro

  • Alizarin Waissberg

  • Cara Neel


The resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases due to a drop in herd immunity from parents choosing not to have their healthy children vaccinated.

Critical Object and Construction:

After brainstorming topics that we were interested in, we decided to focus on the resurgence of diseases like measles, where there has been a spike in measles outbreaks since 2014, mainly due to people not vaccinating their children due to personal or religious beliefs. So-called “anti-vaxxers” not only put their (healthy) children at risk, but also threaten the health of vulnerable populations who cannot be vaccinated and thus rely on “herd immunity” to keep them safe (like babies and children with compromised immune systems, or elderly people.)


Because every drop in herd immunity, even a small one, can result in devastating effects for vulnerable individuals, we wanted to illustrate the consequences of choosing not to vaccinate your child. To do so, we chose the metaphor of a dunk tank, where pressing the button (which represents not vaccinating your child) may or may not drop the person on the seat into a pool of murky looking water, playing with the idea of collective responsibility.