Mary Anna Pomonis & Justin Stadel
The Egregore of Torrance
Torrance Art Museum July 17, 2021

Documentation of the durational performance The Egregore of Torrance by artists Mary Anna Pomonis and Justin Stadel for the Torrance Art Museum’s Ultra! Public Art Project & Museum Reopening Ceremony on July 17, 2021.

An egregore is widely understood as an autonomous entity composed of and influencing the thoughts of a group of people. Reference to the concept of the egregore dates back to the ancient Hebrew Book of Enoch, and has Greek origins in animism as the égrégoros, meaning “wakeful” or “watcher.” In modern terms, egregores are embodied in everything from sports team fandoms and affiliation, to the will and direction of a governing body–a department of water and power or a marriage and family court system. Egregores can be transnational in scope, or hyperlocal. In the 1930s, as feelings of tension and war gripped Europe, artists formed local collectives that seized the moment as they understood it, attempting to manifest and interact with the egregores of their time.

Futurists lauded modern wonders in technology and aviation and explored new contexts of thought with aeropaintings. Surrealists plumbed the depths of consciousness through automatism and subconscious dreamscapes.

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