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Simon Terrill

My work is a photographic engagement with crowds. What kind of organism is a crowd? What does it mean to be part of a crowd? I am interested in the emergent and socially promiscuous potential of crowds. As a public entity, the crowd is both a unique place of equality and a singular demonstration of pre-conscious intent. The possibilities suggested by the crowd become a language of potential form.

Recent work has been of both found and constructed crowd situations. My Crowd Theory project is an ongoing series of photographic performance events that are stage-managed operations involving many associates. The works are large-scale collaborations with the public. The process is of making an invitation setting up a situation and then allowing the spontaneous properties of a large group of people to emerge. Once a site is chosen, the invitation goes to people who have an association with that site. The photographic process ritualises the events and in doing so, facilitates a transition from ‘group’ to ‘crowd’. The work relies on the dialogue that emerges between fictional and documentary approaches.

(Simon Terrill 2007)