Times Square Arts has chosen Shahzia Sikander’s animation Gopi-Contagion as the October feature for their public art series Midnight Moment, the largest display of synchronized, cutting-edge creative content in history. The animation will appear nightly on the electronic billboards between 42nd and 47th streets, between Broadway and 7th Avenue.
Gopi-Contagion takes the viewer through the movement of hundreds of digitally animated drawings to explore the idea of swarming, or collective behavior, as an observable phenomenon yet unyielding to analysis.
The flocking particles in Sikander's painterly animation are the silhouettes of hair from the Gopi, female worshipers of the Hindu god, Krishna. By isolating the hair from the female figure, new associations are cultivated. When in motion, the silhouette looks like insects, birds, bats, or can translate as a particle. The flocking reflects behavior of cellular forms that have reached self-organized criticality, resulting in a redistribution of both visual information and experiential memory.