A Secret Game

Alexa Hoyer finds welcome distraction in social distancing markers underfoot.

Shifting Ground was an open call for visual reports about how the events of 2020 and 2021 reconfigured our relationship with both public and private space. Select entries were posted on the League’s Instagram account.

Alexa Hoyer submitted notes on the improvised signage that appeared across the city after the pandemic broke out.

She wrote:

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been photographing social distancing sidewalk markings throughout New York City, particularly fascinated with their homemade gestural appearance. These signs often feel confusing and disorienting; taken out of context they seem to reveal a secret game or hidden language. It’s an inadvertent continuous drawing installation—a welcome distraction during a grim era.

I am currently working on a book of this project during my artist residency at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which is part of the Governors Island Residency Initiative in Response to COVID-19.


Alexa Hoyer

(@alexa_hoyer, @fotoahoy) is a German visual artist and photographer based in Brooklyn.



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