Winkel & Balktick: Laboratory

Art and Performance Happening/Party at the old Pfizer Headquarters in Williamsburg, Winkel and Balktick event, cool art event in NYCArt and Performance Happening/Party at the old Pfizer Headquarters in Williamsburg, Winkel and Balktick event, cool art event in NYCArt and Performance Happening/Party at the old Pfizer Headquarters in Williamsburg, Winkel and Balktick event, cool art event in NYCArt and Performance Happening/Party at the old Pfizer Headquarters in Williamsburg, Winkel and Balktick event, cool art event in NYCClick to enlarge.

Saturday night, intrigued by their invitation/announcement, I headed over to the abandoned Pfizer headquarters and plant in South Williamsburg to experience Winkel & Balktick’s art/performance/music/dance event/party/experiment: Stranded V – Laboratory. The area around the plant’s location felt creepishly dark and desolate, but as I got closer it was interesting to see the groups of white-clad (the requested form of attire) young people emanate from the dark in all different directions — reminded me of that scene in Witness when all the Amish suddenly appear over the hills to help Harrison Ford.  Anyway, the huge and vacant complex of laboratories had two of its large floors taken over by science-themed art installations, bars displaying test tubes, flasks, and beakers filled with colored liquids on light tables, as well as beanie babies in jars, performances such as hula hoopers with multi-color-lit hoops glowing in the dark, modern dancers dancing in shallow pools of a substance similar to Nickelodeon’s old green slime, and a band whose back-up singers consisted of projected talking heads. There were installations that included a cloth covered dome structure filled with red balloons, a seemingly nude man in a trapezoidal box with small slits where the viewer could watch him bathe in a milky mud-like liquid, and floating petri dishes en masse that created interesting patterns on the floor of their contents’ movement. There was many a science-themed table with lab assistants (aka artists and techies) to answer questions and guide you through their inventions reminiscent of a high school science fair, all the while the loud thumping beat of dance music could be heard (and felt) throughout the two occupied floors in dance club fashion. On more than one occasion I overheard comments to the effect of “Everyone who’s not at Burning Man is here.” Not sure of that myself, but kudos to Winkel & Balktick for coming up with a very interesting and unique (at least for me) event, with the added twist of mystery and intrigue.

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