Spontaneous Formations, by Laura Napier
Spontaneous Formations simulates an extension of Laura Napier's own artistic patterns and interests which since 2003 have focused on photographing and filming visually perceptible patterns of pedestrian behavior, such as the spontaneous formation of lines, circles, and clusters in New York City. As Napier states, “using non-verbal behavioral cues, people repeatedly organize into regular forms, demonstrating emergence theory. These structures also reveal the latent power of the public’s collective intelligence.” The resulting work analytically deconstructs the implied corral that cities, sites and architecture subconsciously enforce on pedestrians. Crowds and congregation are often seen as apparent forms in political rallies, protests, sporting events, rock concerts and religious services but as Napier humorously captures, these unstaged huddles also emerge in the everyday. Strangers become collective participants influenced by the grid and verticality of urban infrastructure.
Laura Napier has been finding and photographing momentary crowd formations in New York City, Los Angeles, and most recently, in Lima, Peru. She was selected for a 2008 Swing Space residency by LMCC and is part of the AIM28 program at the Bronx Museum. She completed her MFA at Bard College in 2007.
José Ruiz is a New York City-based curator who eschews conventional and established curatorial premises in order to concentrate on the hybridization of context and discourse that surrounds conceptual, sociopolitical and interdisciplinary emerging artists. In 2000, he co-founded Decatur Blue, a gallery in Washington, DC at which he curated more than 30 exhibitions and performances. His interests in alternative spaces and grassroots organizations led him to the Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) in 2006 for which he serves as Gallery Director & Curator. Ruiz’s upcoming projects will spawn across organizations and create curatorial collaborations with Museo de Arte de El Salvador, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, Wave Hill, Asian American Arts Center and Lehman College Art Gallery.