A Collective Performance
When we picture protest, we envision a mass. We see hordes of people storming, chanting, arms raised, fists pumped, in unison. These are the images not only in our minds eye, but also presented to us by the press, social media, and by the chronicles of history, for the success of a movement is often assumed by crowd size. And when we, as individuals, present ourselves at a demonstration, we feel empowered, virtuous, a significant part of the whole. As an artist standing in the midst of these crowds with my fellow citizens, I became profoundly interested in the role of the individual within this collective experience. I began attending protests in New York City in early 2017, just after the presidential inauguration. Soon I was photographing them, fascinated by this temporal stage. I focused on the active space — not only between the protesters themselves, but also the performative space between protestors, spectators, and the press. The five-channel stop motion video piece, A Collective Performance, created with over 4500 still photographs, looks at how these individual’s actions, and their collective performances, speaks to constructs of identity, social cohesion, and the formation of a temporal community. The video was commissioned by TEDxSydney, and first screened in front of an audience of 5000+ at their event in June 2018. Subsequently, an adaptation of the video was screened at SVA theatre, NY (2019) and at Durand Art Institute, Lake Forest, IL (2020). An installation of portraits were exhibited at the SVA Theatre (2019).