Shifting Communities: SP Weather Station; Laura Napier; Christy Speakman
On View from October 21, 2011 – November 19, 2011
Opening Reception: October 21 from 6-9pm
305 East 140th St. #1A, Bronx, NY, 10454
Bronx River Art Center (BRAC)is proud to announce Shifting Communities: SP Weather Station; Laura Napier; Christy Speakman. This is the second of four exhibitions and continuation of the roundtable dialogue series from our 2011-2012 gallery program.
Shifting Communities highlights dynamic initiatives in culture and the arts currently at work in the margins of the art world and American society. The goal of this project is to create a paradigm where community-centric contemporary art and artist think-tanks can be a tool for public service; a language for the exploration and investigation of the broader aspects of culture and society; and a magnet that can bring different cultures and ideologies together in order to strengthen a more inclusive definition of community.
In the second exhibition of the series, Bronx based artists Laura Napier and Christy Speakman, and collective SP Weather Station interpret the weather through three distinct approaches. These include describing patterns of human movement and neighborhood territories, using data to inform and produce artwork and move about one’s community, and creating a social platform for environmental researchers and DIY meteorologists.
Laura Napier’s Weather=Contested Space consists of three interrelated projects that explore informal territorial demarcations in and around the South Bronx. These projects include an 80 page printout archived from an online forum on the topic, "Are hipsters coming to the Bronx?”, photographs documenting territorial graffiti in the neighborhood, and video taken in the nearby 138th subway station of a temporary employee break room on the platform alongside a video in which fans and locals face-off as they cross a street against each other near Yankee Stadium.
Christy Speakman’s Concrete Rainforest is a video of three-dimensional animated photographs of rainforest leaves, wild city weeds, and air conditioner puddles. While hiking in the Costa Rican rainforest, Speakman photographed the complex patterns left in flora and vegetation by insects. Using the rainfall and temperature data collected by SP Weather Station to animate the foliage, each leaf becomes a world orbiting through a complex web of wet pavement air conditioner puddles and wild green weeds spouting in the city.
SP Weather Station’s (SPWS) SP Weather Reports (2008-) and Weather Networks NYC consider two distinct ‘communities’: SPWS’s own loose network of collaborating artists, and the complex web of weather-monitoring networks in New York City. SP Weather Reports (2008-) are an ongoing edition in which one artist or artist group is invited to create a work in response to SPWS data for each month of the year. Weather Networks NYC is a wall map with photographs and texts documenting SPWS’s ongoing research into the diverse groups (from government-funded research initiatives to citizen observers) involved with monitoring the weather and environmental conditions of New York City’s ecosystem. This map will serve as a backdrop for workshops inviting the public to create their own weather forecast for the city, and for a social gathering and screening of weather-related films.
Alongside this exhibition will be a series of roundtable presentations, workshops, and discussions. Please refer to our website for the ongoing schedule of events.
This exhibition is made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Majority Leader Joel Rivera, the Bronx Delegation of the New York City Council, New York State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation’s Arts & Enterprise Place-Based Revitalization Program, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Installation view of SP Weather Station’s (SPWS) SP Weather Reports
A view of Christy Speakman’s Concrete Rainforest
Gallery visitor views Laura Napier’s Weather=Contested Space