BAITBALL (01)

Collective exhibition held in Palazzo San Giuseppe, Polignano a mare (Italy)

January 5th- February 29th, 2020

curated by Catbox Contemporary (New York) - Davide Da Pieve - Essenza Club (Nomadic) - Flip Project (Napoli) - Ginny Project (London) - Harlesden High Street (London) & Twee Whistler - Like A Little Disaster (Polignano a Mare) - Felice Moramarco - Nights (Nomadic) - PANE project (Milano) - PIA Studio (Lecce) - Progetto (Lecce)  - Rhizome Parking Garage (Online) - Studioconcreto (Lecce) - The Sunroom (Richmond) - Ultrastudio (Pescara / Los Angeles).

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A bait ball occurs when small organisms (fish, birds, insects) move tightly packed in a spherical formation around a common center. It is a defensive measure adopted to escape the threat of predators, but it is also a cohesion exercise enhancing the hydro-aerodynamic functions.

A coordinated bait ball that moves and glitters in unison is a mesmerizing image; hundreds or thousands of individuals moving together under radio control or a pre-established choreography. They are even more surprising considering that there is no leader or hierarchy within them. The "balls" are formed through that spontaneous emergency known as self-organization. It emerges from the bottom upwards, it is an a-centered and non-linear phenomenon, it is an irreversible process, which thanks to the cooperative action of subsystems lead to more complex structures in the global system. A bait ball rotates, contracts, expands, separates and returns all one, without interruption - single individualities with a hive mind. Cohesion is achieved through the coordination of each individual with respect to the nearest neighbour. A massive coordinated "ball" is made up of thousands of individual actions that make up a single collective movement.

 

Heterogeneous, "aggregated" patterns in the spatial distributions of individuals are almost universal across living organisms, from bacteria to higher vertebrates. Whereas specific features of aggregations are often visually striking to human eyes, a heuristic analysis based on human vision is usually not sufficient to answer fundamental questions about how and why organisms aggregate and nor about how and why the same associative processes invest "inanimate" elements such as water vapour, sand dunes, galaxies, in which these patterns derive from simple abiotic interactions between the individual components.

 

The project BAITBALL follows the same natural, mutualistic and universal mechanism to create a hybrid subject/object, a collective dimension; what remains after eliminating the artificial notions of nature and culture. It emerges from the continuous articulation of humans and non-humans, artifacts, inscriptions, animals, plants, spirits, ancestors, gods, organisms and technological prostheses, local and universal, apocalyptic fears and technological hopes.