Artist Reflection: It isn't easy. It shouldn't be.

Nancy Nowacek is an Eyebeam Alum who was in residence in 2015-16. Her work challenges the idea that the body is just baggage, while the mind uses technology. Nancy Nowacek makes task-based encounters between bodies, things, and space. Her solo show Easy is Not a Concept was up at Eyebeam this summer. See her kayaking travels on @eyebeamnyc.


In a recent exhibition, she created fragments of bridges, coding languages for dancers, and digital avatars for other bodies. This is what her collaborators had to say:

“The body is the original ‘technology.’ Our skeleton, muscles, organs and brain are an intricate system of software and hardware. Once you delve into Nancy’s work, it becomes obvious.” – Morgan Hille-Refakis, programmer
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“Face Me” is an open-source library of “people textures” created for Google SketchUp, that are alternatives to the “default” person. 

“In German, we feminise things from male to female. So what is it like building and designing for something other than a middle-aged white male?”– Ulrike Konigshofer, visitor
“Software like Sketchup regulates our bodies, how our bodies are supposed to move through space. It’s written into the software.” – Magali Duzant, Eyebeam staff
“New York is surrounded by water – we need to start thinking about that and finding ways to live with the water. Building bridges is such a beautiful metaphor for so much more. It clearly goes beyond the idea of getting more familiar with the water ways.” —Anonymous visitor
Nancy’s talent in working with people is incredible. What she created with this piece and this project stands for an important practice of collaboration – everyone can learn from that: the art scene as well as the tech industry.”  – Laura Welzenbach, Eyebeam staff
“It’s about technology, but it’s not techy. It’s interesting not just to wealthier people.”– Claudia Larclier, visitor
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Citizen Bridge is a floating sculpture that will connect Governor’s Island to Brooklyn.
“It’s like urban planning, but somewhere in between state and municipal infrastructure and home improvement.”  – David Xu Borgonjon, Eyebeam staff
“Enormous amounts of people live within a stone’s throw of the harbor but have never been to the shoreline. Citizen Bridge is about bridging the gap towards more universal education about waterways for New Yorkers. ” – Monica Schaffer, Public Relations Advisor
“Coding with your whole body… I have the feeling it will possibly bring us forward, when you look at the innovation process and what people use in daily lives.”– Urban Peyker, visitor
“The bridge, it’s massive. You can lose yourself in it. And I can see the water from here.”– Irene Posch, Eyebeam alum
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