Embodied Structure*Living Action: The Shape of Community

A collaborative installation by Liz Nofziger and Linda Price-Sneddon celebrating the legacy of the Bread and Roses strike in today’s Lawrence.

The Great Lawrence Textile Mill Strike of 1912 stands as a powerful symbol of community and collaboration between diverse immigrant populations that shared no common language.  A community united in common cause is the most potent catalyst for positive growth and change, and art is a common language that we can all share. 

We are inspired by the historical lesson of the Bread and Roses Strike and have channeled this spirit to make visual the network of individuals and organizations that work daily to build a bright future for today’s Lawrence. 

We have uncovered the network person-by-person originating from the Essex Art Center.  Each person identified lead us to other individuals and agencies engaged in the hard work of building a city geared for the future welfare and empowerment of Lawrence citizens.

Installation Structure:

The visual form of this social network borrows from network visualization theory and emerged from our process of exploration and interaction.  We began by creating several network drawings that chart the relationships and interrelationships between Lawrence’s dynamic non-profit organizations and the people that define these organizations as uncovered by our research and interaction with key nodes in this network.

In order to expand the richness of our depiction, we hosted two simple suppers in the exhibition space for key network members in celebration of the important work that they do for their community.  In addition to sharing a meal, we enlisted their support to grow the network by creating new and expanded network maps together. 

We’ve also created a collaborative space for gallery visitors to playfully build depictions of their own networks of family, friends, work, school and other affiliations.

The slideshow and video projection are composed from video of the We Are Lawrence rally held this past March, photos from Lawrence’s vibrant non-profit organizations, and images of complex network diagrams gleaned from the internet.