In the New York summer, escalating temperatures alter the shape and feeling of everyday life. Pavement sweats. Air stagnates; the pace slows, tensions rise. The city's combination of structures, surfaces, and inhabitants creates a heat trap, also known as the “urban heat island effect.” The causes of the urban heat island, according to William Lowry’s 1967 article “The Climate of Cities,” are many: rocklike surfaces, a maze of built shapes and reflectors, contaminated air, the lack of cooling evaporation from channeled water, and the city’s own heat sources (factories, vehicles, air conditioners, people). Eschewing strict thematic divisions, the exhibition Heat Island takes these factors as a starting point for further investigation, suggesting an imaginative mode for exploring the hot city.