Typically big cities are in a continuous flux, with a coming and going of people; some who settle in, and some who stay temporarily or just move through. Newcomers enter this flux and add their stories, their experience, their views, they become part of the life of the city, and make connections with others, residents and non-residents. The city, as a space, contains these possibilities not by being a collection of buildings, nor by being an urban environment, but rather through the dynamic relationships between people, which provoke active engagement. Strangers become friends, ideas become practice, models are being transformed into action: since the connection of people is based on a certain coincidence of being in the same space, the models that are being developed, consciously or unconsciously, are random. These processes offer the possibility of surprise, of finding valuable things not specifically sought for. They create a ground for new ideas: by forgetting things, in order to create space, to organize new things, to unfold this new space.
Nomads & Residents was initiated in New York City in 1999 by a group of artists, architects, curators. It makes connections with residents and people who visit, by setting up a small, organic network of collaborators, and they organize public events in a variety of places, using and temporarily moving into the existing spaces in the city, making visible personal histories, adding new "history".
Nomads & Residents invites artists, guests, curators, critics, activists, travelers and passers-by, to present insight into their practice, their ideas, histories, and drives, in dialogue. Invitations are inevitably random, coincidence, discovery, but they are, at the same time, closely connected with the personal practice and life of each organizer. Nomads & Residents makes these connections from their own interest and idealism to investigate the tension between the collective and the individual. It may include all kinds of ingredients: e.g. the wish to make a difference, gain attention, engage with a new environment, an interest in others and their ideas, satisfying curiosity....a service, creating opportunities.
Nomads & Residents (New York based and temporary residents) set up the events, actively inquire as to who is coming to New York and when, who would be interested in presenting his/her ideas, which spaces would be interested and available. Nomads & Residents welcomes advice, ideas and the enthusiastic support of others. The events are informal and casual, and might be presentations, lectures, talks, slide-shows, small exhibitions, performances.