Reflecting on the Genesis and Realization of <i>Design for a Dissemunization Station</i>


  • Patrick Mahon Western University
  • Annemarie Hou



visualization of vaccination, access to vaccines, vaccination in global context, mobility, interdisciplinary collaboration


Design for a Dissemunization Station (D4DS) is a collaboration between Annemarie Hou, Executive Director a.i. of the United Nations Office for Partnerships and was then a UNAIDS building-based executive and advocacy expert interested in ideas and problems surrounding accessibility and vaccines, and Patrick Mahon, a university-based artist and curator. An installation consisting of two tent structures, D4DS included listening stations and provided ambient sounds suggestive of a vaccine moving through the body. The hybrid term “dissemunization” was used to reveal ideas concerning distribution of vaccines and related information. Hou and Mahon reflect on the project and assess its success with respect to aspects of collaboration.

Author Biographies

Patrick Mahon, Western University

Patrick Mahon is an artist, a writer, and a Professor of Visual Arts at Western University, in London, ON. He is also the current Director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities at Western. Mahon’s artwork has been exhibited widely in Canada at Museum London, the Hamilton Art Gallery, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), Toronto; in recent exhibitions in China, France, Ecuador, and Japan in 2017; and at numerous print biennales. Patrick was in residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (New York), Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium), and La Maison Patrimoniale Barthète in France. The SSHRC-funded project, Art and Cold Cash, which involved Mahon and other artists from southern Canada and Baker Lake, Nunavut, was produced and exhibited between 2004 and 2010 (MOCCA, Toronto; McLaren Arts Centre, Barrie; Platform, Winnipeg: Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina), and a book was published by YYZ in 2010. Patrick’s collaborative SSHRC project, Immersion Emergencies and Possible Worlds, on the theme of water, began in 2010 and included a residency in Niagara Falls and at the Banff Centre. A related group exhibition, The Source: Reconsidering Water through Contemporary Art, presented at Rodman Hall Art Centre, opened in May 2014. A follow-up exhibition, co-curated with Stuart Reid, The Living River Project, was presented at the Art Gallery of Windsor in 2019. Patrick lives in London, Ontario.

Annemarie Hou

Annemarie Hou is the Executive Director a.i. of the United Nations Office for Partnerships. She also serves as the Senior Communications Adviser with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General at the United Nations, focused on partnerships, advocacy and strategic communications for sustainable development. Most recently she served as Chief of Staff and Director of the Executive Office for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Previously, she oversaw the communications and advocacy portfolio at UNAIDS where she was responsible for positioning HIV and development issues in the global landscape. Prior to joining UNAIDS, Ms. Hou worked in the philanthropic field, with a focus on health and children’s issues. She was the Communications Director at Casey Family Programmes, an operating foundation dedicated to child welfare issues started by the founder of UPS. Ms. Hou served as the first Global Health Communications Manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as the family’s spokesperson. An award-winning writer, she started her career as a television journalist.




How to Cite

Mahon, P., & Hou, A. (2020). Reflecting on the Genesis and Realization of <i>Design for a Dissemunization Station</i>. Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 11(2), 19–36.