Times Square Valentine Heart Sculpture

Times Square Valentine Heart Sculpture Competition 2014, Match-Maker, Young Projects, Interactive sculpture shaped as heart, NYCTimes Square Valentine Heart Sculpture Competition 2014, Match-Maker, Young Projects, Interactive sculpture shaped as heart, NYCTimes Square Valentine Heart Sculpture Competition 2014, Finalists, Young Projects,  Haiko Cornelissen Architecten; Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio; Schaum/Shieh Architects; SOFTlab; and The Living.Interactive sculpture shaped as heart, NYCIt’s that time of year again, when all things turn red and heart-shaped in honor of St Valentine. Times Square is no exception. Now in its sixth year since the revitalization of Father Duffy Square, Times Square Arts held their annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition for a heart- and love-themed interactive sculpture to be placed across the square from the TKTS booth steps. This year’s winning design is Young ProjectsMatch-Maker that will cosmically connect people, guided by their zodiac signs. Peering through bright red, interwoven periscopes – which, from certain angles, appears as an iconic heart, while from others a more abstract tangled object – visitors are offered glimpses of their four most suited astrological mates.

But while Match-Maker is a clever design, the competition was no slouch either. The five finalists were strong candidates and merit mentioning as well. Haiko Cornelissen Architecten submitted Tweet Heart NY, an illuminated heart that would pulsate with every tweet @ it. The more tweets, the faster the pulse. Schaum/Shieh Architects offered My Fuzzy Valentine, a striped graphic reflective structure that would create moiré patterns when rotated that pulse like a beating heart, as well as making for great selfie opportunities and creating digital Valentine-grams. Next, The Living proposed Vapor Valentine: a dynamic cloud that captures and displays the ever-changing life and light of Times Square. People could interact with the heart through touching and blowing the cloud, through placing their hands on the glass box to affect the vapor inside, and through a custom text-messaging hotline. Heart, proposed by Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio, would have been made from an illuminated circle that could be pulled and folded to form a heart. When released it would flutter until regaining its balance. Lastly, SoftLAB’s entry was inspired by the sweetness and forms of rock candy and candy hearts, hence its name Sweet ❤. Its kaleidoscopic reflective surface would capture the lights of Times Square in addition to revealing hidden messages as visitors moved their mobile cameras around the sculpture.

You can visit the winning Match-Maker sculpture through March 11, 2014, and you can read more about all the entries over here.

via Van Alen Institute

Duke Riley: Homing Pigeon Performance Art

Duke Riley, Magnan Metz, Homing Pigeons fly to Cuba and bring back cigars; See You At The Finish Line Duke Riley, Magnan Metz, Homing Pigeons fly to Cuba and bring back cigars; See You At The Finish LineDuke Riley, Magnan Metz, Homing Pigeons fly to Cuba and bring back cigars; See You At The Finish LineClick to enlarge

Brooklyn-based artist Duke Riley describes his work this way in his artist statement:

My work addresses the prospect of residual but forgotten unclaimed frontiers on the edge and inside overdeveloped urban areas, and their unsuspected autonomy. I am interested in the struggle of marginal peoples to sustain independent spaces within all-encompassing societies, the tension between individual and collective behavior, the conflict with institutional power. I pursue an alternative view of hidden borderlands and their inhabitants through drawing, printmaking, mosaic, sculpture, performative interventions, and video structured as complex multimedia installations.

His piece Trading with the Enemy seems to fit the bill perfectly. Riley trained 50 homing pigeons to travel from Havana to Key West, Fla. Half the flock were smugglers of Cuban cigars while the rest documented their travels on film. The cigar-laden pigeons were given names of notorious smugglers such as Pierre Lafitte, while the filmers were given names of famous film directors who have had run-ins with the law: i.e. Roman Polanski and Mel Gibson. I imagine there’s a certain thrill to subverting hi-tech drones with good old fashion homing pigeons. Riley’s connection to the birds goes back to his childhood, after rescuing one, letting it go free, and finding that it returned to him. Trading With the Enemy is part of an exhibit titled See You at the Finish Line currently at Magnan Metz in Chelsea. Two of the pigeons are for sale at the gallery along with the art. The show will run through January 11, 2014. For those who can’t make it in person, you can watch the video of the pigeons’ adventure, below.

Photos courtesy of MagnanMetz & The New York Times

via nytimes

The Snails are Coming! The Snails are Coming!

ReGeneration PRoject, The Cracking Art Group, Giant Red Snails, Sculpture at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, Columbus Circle, and Eataly. Galleria Ca dOro andbVilla Firenze Foundation as presenting "Eight Giant Red Snails" as part of  the REgeneration Art Project. Red snails will inhabit Central Park from November 9 through December 3, 2013, before moving to Columbus Circle from December 5 to January 6, 2014. ReGeneration PRoject, The Cracking Art Group, Giant Red Snails, Sculpture at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, Columbus Circle, and Eataly. Galleria Ca dOro andbVilla Firenze Foundation as presenting "Eight Giant Red Snails" as part of  the REgeneration Art Project. Red snails will inhabit Central Park from November 9 through December 3, 2013, before moving to Columbus Circle from December 5 to January 6, 2014. ReGeneration PRoject, The Cracking Art Group, Giant Red Snails, Sculpture at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, Columbus Circle, and Eataly. Galleria Ca dOro andbVilla Firenze Foundation as presenting "Eight Giant Red Snails" as part of  the REgeneration Art Project. Red snails will inhabit Central Park from November 9 through December 3, 2013, before moving to Columbus Circle from December 5 to January 6, 2014. Click to enlarge

Well, actually, they’re already here. These eight foot snails are part of the REgeneration Art Project and are made of recyclable plastic obtained from landfills. The snails are a creation of the Cracking Art Group (previously here) consisting of six international artists whose intention is to change art history through both a strong social and environmental commitment, and a revolutionary and innovative use of different recyclable plastic materials. The snails were “living” at Rumsey Field in Central Park up until last week before moving (okay, they were more moved/transported than moving themselves) to Columbus Circle last week. You’re gonna have to trust me, they’re there. That’s where I spotted them earlier today, but no time for photo-taking. Apparently there’s at least one at Eataly on 23rd Street as well. These snails seem to keep with the scavenger hunt street art theme that has descended upon our city since the fall, first with Banksy, then Invader, and now, in a smaller, yet at the same time larger, scale, the invasion of the red snails.

The snails will be up at Columbus Circle through January 6th, 2014, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, do keep an eye out for them.

Photos: Timothy Clary/AFP; Captain Kidder; Silverscreen Productions; gigi_nyc;

George Ferrandi: It Felt Like I Knew You…

George Ferrandi, It Felt Like I Knew You..., performance art, photography, street art intervention, Subway performance artGeorge Ferrandi, It Felt Like I Knew You..., performance art, photography, street art intervention, Subway performance artGeorge Ferrandi, It Felt Like I Knew You..., performance art, photography, street art intervention, Subway performance artClick to enlarge

For some, regularly dozing in moving vehicles and inadvertently leaning against random strangers while doing so, is a common occurrence (ahem…Em), but in the case of Brooklyn-based artist George Ferrandi, it’s completely intentional. For her ongoing project It Felt Like I Knew You Ferrandi rides the subway (her choice for these interventions because of its packed quality and the loneliness one can feel despite the physical intimacy) during rush hour and tests the limits of this shared confined area by reshaping the space between her body and a stranger’s sitting next to her.

I focus on the shape of the space between the person sitting next to me and myself. I attempt to mentally and emotionally re-sculpt that space. In my mind, I reshape it- from the stiff and guarded space between strangers to the soft and yielding space between friends. I direct all my energy to this space between us. When the space palpably changes, and I completely feel like the stranger sitting next to me is my friend, I rest my head on that person’s shoulder…

Ferrandi started the continuing project in 2012. The endearingly humorous results are documented by co-conspirator Angela Gilland on her phone. So, the next time you feel a woman’s head rest on your shoulder in the subway, it’s likely to be George Ferrandi…or, Em.

It Felt Like I Knew You can be seen at the Abrons Arts Center as part of the exhibit GUTS through the end of December.

via abrons arts center

Hot Tea: Banksy Tribute & More

Hot Tea Yarn-bombing Banksy Tribute, East 4th St, NYC, BanksyNYC, street art, typographyHot Tea Yarn-bombing Banksy Tribute, East 4th St, NYC, BanksyNYC, street art, typographyHot Tea Yarn-bombing Banksy Tribute, East 4th St, NYC, BanksyNYC, street art, typographyClick to enlarge

Minneapolis-based street artist—and NYC frequenter—HOT TEA is known for his yarn-bombing typography, usually found on—but not limited to—chain link fences & telephone poles. Most often the words HOT TEA are geometrically spelled out, seemingly interlocked in three dimensions. I’ve run into several of his pieces over the past couple of years around NYC, one in Soho, another Nolita, and DUMBO as well. A couple of weeks ago, shortly after Banksy finished his month-long scavenger-hunt-like show Better Out Than In around the city, I came across a tribute to the reknowned street artist by, I assume, HOT TEA, though this speculation is based soley on style. The piece, which was on East 4th Street, was gone in less than 24 hours replaced with a real estate sign by the owners of the empty lot where the work stood. I’ve looked around to see if this Banksy tribute appeared anywhere online, including HOT TEA’s flickr, but so far nothing. Earlier in the fall, HOT TEA created his largest site specific piece to date with over 1600 knots and 800 pieces of yarn installed on the Williamsburg Bridge walkway. You can see the installation in the video below:

Top two photos: collabcubed. All others courtesy Hot Tea’s flickr.

Willie Cole: Shoe Sculptures, Masks & More

Willie Cole, Sole Sitter, bronze sculpture made with stacked shoes to look like African art, If Wishes Were Horses...exhibitWillie Cole, Sole Sitter, bronze sculpture made with stacked shoes to look like African art, If Wishes Were Horses...exhibitWillie Cole, Sole Sitter, bronze sculpture made with stacked shoes to look like African art, If Wishes Were Horses...exhibitClick to enlarge

New Jersey-born and based artist Willie Cole creates many of his works by repurposing objects such as irons, hair dryers and, in this case, shoes. His shoe sculptures and masks communicate messages about African history. I happened upon the last day of Cole’s show If wishes were horses… at the Alexander and Bonin Gallery in Chelsea this past weekend which featured a large bronze sculpture in the center of the lower floor titled Sole Sitter. At first glance the seated figure appeared to be just that, but upon closer inspection the oversized stacked shoes became evident and just at that moment all the shoe masks on the walls came into focus as well. Super-cleverly done, these pieces have an African art feel to them. Cole is not new to creating with shoes. A few years back at the same gallery I saw his impressive shoe mandalas, but these more recent sculptures really take the use of shoes to a new dimension.

Top two photos courtesy of Alexander and Bonin; all others collabcubed.

Killy Kilford: Happy Signs

Happy Signs, Killy Kilford, Department of Well Being, Dept of Well Being, Street Art that makes people smile, NYCHappy Signs, Killy Kilford, Department of Well Being, Dept of Well Being, Street Art that makes people smile, NYCHappy Signs, Killy Kilford, Department of Well Being, Dept of Well Being, Street Art that makes people smile, NYCHappy Signs, Killy Kilford, Department of Well Being, Dept of Well Being, Street Art that makes people smile, NYCClick to enlarge

I’m all for things that surprise and delight, and that’s just what British artist Killy Kilford is up to since moving to NYC this past year. Feeling negativity from some of the city’s street signs, Kilford set out to create Happy Signs with upbeat messages and, with the help of volunteers, placed them under the official signs. “Honk Less, Love More” or “You Look Pretty Today” are just two examples of the many slogans aimed at getting a smile from his street audience. Kilford proposes that the city open a Dept of Well Being in addition to their standard agencies. He plans to use his project—currently 200 signs have been installed mostly around lower Manhattan and Williamsburg—to measure happiness using surveys and social media, with the ultimate goal of acting as a model for other cities to adopt a similar concept and their own department of well-being.

If you’re in New York City, keep your eyes peeled for the smile-inducing signage.

Photos courtesy of the artist and evgrieve

RAE: Word of Mouth Bodega

RAE street art, exhibit in East Village Bodega, Word of Mouth, Street Art, GraffitiRAE street art, exhibit in East Village Bodega, Word of Mouth, Street Art, GraffitiRAE street art, exhibit in East Village Bodega, Word of Mouth, Street Art, GraffitiRAE East Village Bodega covered in Street art, graffiti, Word of Mouth exhibitClick to enlarge

What if your corner bodega didn’t just sell milk, candy and cigarettes, but acted as an exhibit space for beautiful street art, inside and out? Cool, right? Well, that’s exactly what Brooklyn artist RAE has done in the East Village. Finding a former bodega that had to close due to flooding by Hurricane Sandy last year, RAE reopened the shop temporarily for his first solo NYC exhibit Word of Mouth. Covering most every surface in the place—including security cameras—with his drawings, and folky sculptures, the artist has the ‘gallery’ space operating as a functioning bodega as well.

A couple of years back, a friend pointed out RAE’s art on a sign at a now defunct fruit and vegetable stand in SoHo, so it seems that he has a longstanding fascination for the corner food vendor.

Word of Mouth will be on exhibit Thursdays through Saturdays until November 16, 2013, at the corner of East 12th Street and Avenue C.

Photos: changoblanco and vandalog

via vandalog & gothamist

Rune Olsen: Will to Power

Rune Olsen, Will to Power exhibit at La Mama Gallery, NYC. Cheese-Ball Head Paper Towel Holder, Humorous SculptureRune Olsen, Will to Power exhibit at La Mama Gallery, NYC. Endless Column, Tower of styrofoam takeout containers, Humorous SculptureRune Olsen, Will to Power exhibit at La Mama Gallery, NYC. Endless Column, Tower of styrofoam takeout containers, Humorous SculptureClick to enlarge

It’s hard to know what to make of the wacky exhibit Will to Power at La Mama Gallery here in NYC, but it’s definitely engaging. Norwegian artist Rune Olsen, now living in Hudson, NY, is interested in what he refers to as “Alternative Intelligences” such as ADHD, Asperger’s, Dyslexia and Bipolar disorder. He questions what functionality would look like if “the norm” were one of these alternative intelligences.

Using mostly food and kitchen-centric objects, Olsen creates pieces that include a Cheese-ball Head that conveniently doubles as a paper towel holder; a leaning tower of take-out containers titled Endless Column; a kitchen counter in the center of the gallery with a person covered in foil and dishes stacked precariously by the sink in a piece titled Endless Water Fall, just to name a few. The entire space has foam sausages flying through the air as well and, apparently, at times there are performances in the space, though not while I was there.

In some ways meme-like, the artist seems to favor that comparison. He speaks of the idea of evoking “a visceral response in the viewer, a response that elicits a desire to imitate thus initiating a first hand experience and making them personal.”

Will to Power will be up at La Mama La Galleria through November 17, 2013. Open Wednesday to Sunday 1 to 7:30pm.

Photos: collabcubed

Suzanne Caporael: Enough is Plenty

suzanne caporael, color paper collages, Enough is Plenty, Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallerysuzanne caporael, color paper collages, Enough is Plenty, Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallerysuzanne caporael, color paper collages, Enough is Plenty, Ameringer McEnery Yohe GalleryClick to enlarge

On the recommendation of a friend, I stopped by Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery last week to see NY artist Suzanne Caporael’s exhibit Enough is Plenty in the back of the gallery. Though the paintings were quite nice, the pieces I was immediately drawn to were the small color paper collages. The combination of her lovely palettes, the irregular shapes, and subtle hints of the New York Times newspaper in the background either in the form of folios and running heads, or articles ghosted back behind other paper, added a surprisingly lovely touch. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes these so special but, at least to me, they certainly were. Enough is Plenty will be up in the Chelsea gallery through November 23, 2013.

Photos courtesy Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery.

Richard Dupont: Hanging Heads

Richard Dupont, Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, Museum of Art and Design, Hanging Heads, Silicone head sculptures, body scan sculptureRichard Dupont, Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, Museum of Art and Design, Hanging Heads, Silicone head sculptures, body scan sculptureRichard Dupont, Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, Museum of Art and Design, Hanging Heads, Silicone head sculptures, body scan sculptureRichard Dupont, Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, Museum of Art and Design, Hanging Heads, Silicone head sculptures, body scan sculptureClick to enlarge

You know you must really like an artist when two years apart, in two different locations, two different kinds of sculpture—though both heads—make you stop in awe. Today, walking by The Museum of Art and Design here in NYC, a came across a huge sculpture of what looked like a melting head. I checked inside with the museum people and the artist turned out to be Richard Dupont, whose work will be included in the show that opens October 16th titled Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital. Upon looking up Dupont’s work, I discovered that he is also the artist behind the large heads I saw, and was impressed by, a couple of years back in Chelsea filled with junk; albeit themed junk (see bottom photos). NYC born and based Dupont has been working with digital full-body scans of himself for over ten years. He likes to use technology as a tool, but is partial to the physical material over the information, preferring the results derived from “disrespecting” technology. His “Hanging Heads” as he calls them, were initially the result of an accident. Working on a foam enlargement of his head, he decided to paint it with rubber. Not happy with the outcome, Dupont peeled off the rubber coating, only to find that it came off in one piece, and then nailed it to the wall. Amazing. Can’t wait to stop by MAD to see more of Dupont’s work in person. Out of Hand will be up through July 6, 2014, so there’s time to get back there.

Top two photos: collabcubed. All other photos courtesy of the artist.

T. J. Wilcox: In the Air at the Whitney

In the Air, A Panoramic Film Installation by T. J. Wilcox. 24hr day in NYC in 30 minutes. Whitney MuseumIn the Air, A Panoramic Film Installation by T. J. Wilcox. 24hr day in NYC in 30 minutes. Whitney MuseumIn the Air, A Panoramic Film Installation by T. J. Wilcox. 24hr day in NYC in 30 minutes. Whitney MuseumClick to enlarge

Currently, the second floor of the Whitney Museum is largely taken up by New York-based artist T. J. Wilcox‘s dramatic 360˚ panoramic film installation titled “In the Air”. The giant circular screen measuring roughly 7 feet high and 35 feet in diameter projects the span of a day in the city, from dawn to dusk, sped up to run in a 30-minute cycle. Inspired by the views from the roof of the building where he has his studio in Union Square, Wilcox filmed, or actually shot 60,000 stills, shot at the rate of one per second, and seamlessly patched together. Superimposed on this vista are six short films that loop, each with a NYC connection. From a documentary/portrait of the Empire State Building to Warhol inflating his silver helium balloons on the roof of his Factory, to Wilcox’s super recounting his personal witnessing of September 11 from that very roof.

I’m looking forward to seeing this exhibit soon—with my newly gifted membership—but, more interestingly, here is Wilcox speaking a bit on the work:

“In the Air” will be up at the Whitney through February 9, 2014.

Top photo by Fred R. Conrad for the NY Times; second photo courtesy of the Whitney; bottom three photos by Clare Henry.

Tour Paris 13: The Paris Tower Project

Tour Paris 13, The Paris 13 Tower Project, Largest Group Street Art Exhibit Ever, Apartment building painted inside and out by around 100 international street artists, Galerie ItinerranceTour Paris 13, The Paris 13 Tower Project, Largest Group Street Art Exhibit Ever, Apartment building painted inside and out by around 100 international street artists, Galerie ItinerranceTour Paris 13, The Paris 13 Tower Project, Largest Group Street Art Exhibit Ever, Apartment building painted inside and out by around 100 international street artists, Galerie ItinerranceTour Paris 13, The Paris 13 Tower Project, Largest Group Street Art Exhibit Ever, Apartment building painted inside and out by around 100 international street artists, Galerie ItinerranceClick to enlarge

October has commenced and Street Art is in the air, or, more accurately on the walls. Here in NYC, Banksy has started stenciling the city with his Better Out Than In project, with possibly a work per day, with a phone number you can call to get an in-depth tongue-in-cheek guided tour to each piece.

Meanwhile, in Paris, Tour Paris 13 (Paris Tower Project 13) has launched. Touted as the “largest group Street Art exhibition ever carried out,” a tower in the 13th Arrondissement slated for demolition at the end of the year has been enshrined by over one hundred artists from all over the world before its destruction. Each artist was given a space, wall, apartment, ceiling to create their work on, inside and out the 4,500 sq meter edifice. With the support of City Hall, ICF Habitat La Sabliere, and Galerie Itinerrance, the project remained secret for many months. The list of artists is impressive, and way too extensive to include here…but some names include: Ludo, El Seed, Legz, Sean Hart, Sumo, and Vhils, just to name a very few.

The exhibit will be up for the entire month of October, and then the building will close and prepare for demolition. For anyone that can’t make it to Paris by then, the website is impressively comprehensive and immersive, taking you room by room and floor by floor with 360˚ views.

Here’s a teaser video from galerie Itinerrance:

Empire Drive-In: NY Hall of Science

Empire Drive-In at the New York Hall of Science in Corona, Queens. Jeff Stark, Todd Chandler, Junkcar Drive-in, Upcycling, re-use, film, NYC eventEmpire Drive-In at the New York Hall of Science in Corona, Queens. Jeff Stark, Todd Chandler, Junkcar Drive-in, Upcycling, re-use, film, NYC eventEmpire Drive-In at the New York Hall of Science in Corona, Queens. Jeff Stark, Todd Chandler, Junkcar Drive-in, Upcycling, re-use, film, NYC eventClick to enlarge

Lately, each consecutive summer in NYC seems to top the last in offerings of outdoor film screenings. Locations range from parks, to restaurant backyards, to rooftops and even beaches. And now, the concept is extending into the fall with an additional twist: a drive-in. Not just your usual run-of-the-mill drive-in, which in itself would be cool and intriguing enough, but Empire Drive-In is a junk car drive-in, upcycling wrecked cars rescued from junkyards and repurposing them as seats for audience members to climb into, and onto, while watching films projected on a 40-foot screen made of salvaged wood. The masterminds behind the project—which will be held outside the New York Hall of Science in Corona Park, Queens, starting October 4th and running though the 20th—are Jeff Stark (whose name seems to be associated with many an interesting NYC event) and Todd Chandler. The two Brooklyn-based artists have previously created other Empire Drive-Ins, most recently last year at the Abandon Normal Devices Festival in Manchester, UK. Stark and Chandler, along with a team of other artists and craftspeople have set out, in this age of consumerism, to create a sense of possibility  by focusing on re-use, designing something new and special while salvaging and repurposing waste. In cleaning up the cars, which will have stereo audio transmitted via radio directly to each car, the crew found all kinds of interesting personal artifacts from car deodorizers to letters, which they have chosen to keep in the cars to “create a story”. The audience is urged to explore.

Opening night promises to be fun with a 30-Pianists-on-Casio-keyboards performance, in addition to a stellar line-up of films from Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Oliver Hardy, to Jim Jarmusch’s Night On Earth. You can see the rest of the schedule here.

All photos & video courtesy of Empire Drive-In

via gothamist

#GettyStation: Chelsea Art Installation

Getty Station art installation in Chelsea, Sheep Station, 239 10th Avenue, Michael Shvo, Francois-Xavier Lalanne's surrealist sculpted sheep, public art, nycGetty Station art installation in Chelsea, Sheep Station, 239 10th Avenue, Michael Shvo, Francois-Xavier Lalanne's surrealist sculpted sheep, public art, nycGetty Station art installation in Chelsea, Sheep Station, 239 10th Avenue, Michael Shvo, Francois-Xavier Lalanne's surrealist sculpted sheep, public art, nycClick to enlarge

Driving uptown (yes, once in a while I have access to a car and actually drive in the city) I noticed, at a red light, a bizarrely rural and bucolic sight in the middle of Chelsea. What used to be a LukOil gas station up until what seemed very recently, was now an impressively landscaped abandoned gas station––complete with a hilly lawn, neatly trimmed bushes, and a white fence––without car access or paved driveway to the pumps. I pulled over to take a look, as well as some photos, and tried to get the scoop from the guard pacing the lawn. All the guard knew, or cared to share, (I imagine the poor man gets bombarded with questions by the minute) was confirmation that, indeed, this was an art installation and he pointed to the sign “#GettyStation” and said “Check twitter.”

I googled instead and discovered that 239 10th Avenue, where the gas station currently resides, was purchased by developer (and art collector) Michael Shvo who will be building yet another apartment building right by the High Line. During construction, Shvo has decided to use the space to showcase public art, with the first exhibit starting Monday, Sept. 16th, titled “Sheep Station” featuring sheep sculptures by the late French artist Francois-Xavier Lalanne grazing on the lawn. Shvo plans to continue with exhibits throughout construction and eventually integrate them into the new building. So keep an eye out on the corner of 24th Street and 10th Avenue in the coming year. For now, “Sheep Station” is due to be on exhibit through October 20th. Not bad for a construction site.

Top photo: Stefan Hengst. All others: collabcubed

Station to Station: Doug Aitken

Station to Station, Doug Aitken's Nomadic Art Happening; Carsten Holler, Urs Fischer, Kenneth Anger, Ernesto Neto, Ariel Pink, No-AgeStation to Station, Doug Aitken's Nomadic Art Happening; Carsten Holler, Urs Fischer, Kenneth Anger, Ernesto Neto, Yurts, Ariel Pink, No-AgeStation to Station, Doug Aitken's Nomadic Art Happening; Carsten Holler, Urs Fischer, Kenneth Anger, Ernesto Neto, Yurts, Ariel Pink, No-AgeStation to Station, Doug Aitken's Nomadic Art Happening; Carsten Holler, Urs Fischer, Kenneth Anger, Ernesto Neto, Yurts, Ariel Pink, No-AgeClick to enlarge

On Friday night, eagerly anticipating the arrival of Doug Aitken‘s (previously here) latest project Station to Station, I went to the first stop and kick-off of this unique multi-city art and music ”nomadic happening“. The pre-event coverage was rather vague, so I was trying to wrap my head around how a train was going to make its way over to the Williamsburg waterfront and, well, the answer is, it didn’t. In fact, the beautiful glowing train exists, but—at least at the New York stop—it wasn’t included in the actual event, but rather, as the means, cool as it may be, of transportation for the artists, musicians, chefs and other participants.

However, despite the lack of train viewing, art and music were definitely supplied in abundance within a festive atmosphere on the most perfect of fall-like nights. Five nomadic sculptures/yurts were set up outside, each designed by a different artist and open for shoeless entry by guests. These installations included an orange-y glowing one by Ernesto Neto; a white, smokey one, with a disco ball by Urs Fischer; Kenneth Anger’s bright red yurt with two video panels screening “Lucifer Rising”; a yellow tensile structure by Carsten Höller; and a completely dark yurt that I was not able to experience properly and not sure of the artist either, sorry. Inside the large Riverfront Studios stood a wooden yurt containing a gift shop. Also inside, is where the music was performed (bands included No-Age, Suicide, Yoshimio, and Ariel Pink.) But, possibly, what I enjoyed most about the whole event were the films screened behind the musicians and between sets. These ranged from Doug Aitken’s own films to Francis Alys, Kate Casanova, Nam June Paik, and Allora & Calzadilla just to name a few. Most of the ones that I saw were truly captivating, and in the most surprising of ways. For example, Kate Casonova’s ”Ornament”, a film showing the back of the artist’s braided head with large hermit crabs crawling on it, was oddly mesmerizing. One of my favorites, however, was a series of kisses from old Hollywood films spliced together as one film, though I wasn’t able to find the name or filmmaker. It was reminiscent of that wonderfully moving scene at the end of Cinema Paradiso (a movie totally worth watching, but if you haven’t yet, then you may want to skip the spoiler-ish link above.)

Back to Station to Station. The event will be traveling all the way to San Francisco within the next three weeks making stops in nine cities and including different artists and performers in each location. If you can’t catch it live, the site is designed in such a way to be able to experience the events virtually. Definitely a great concept filled with great talent with proceeds going to support non-traditional programming at nine partner museums around the country.

Photos of trains, Carsten Höller sculpture, Kenneth Anger sculpture, and Olaf Breuning’s color bombs all courtesy of Station to Station; all other photos by collabcubed

Heart of the District: ZA Architects

Heart of the District by German ZA Architects, cool hotel design, Cut 'n' Paste exhibit MoMA, futuristic architectureHeart of the District by German ZA Architects, cool hotel design, Cut 'n' Paste exhibit MoMA, futuristic architectureHeart of the District by German ZA Architects, cool hotel design, Cut 'n' Paste exhibit MoMA, futuristic architectureClick to enlarge

A few weeks ago while taking in several exhibits at MoMA, we came upon a very interesting image as part of a digital slideshow in the architecture Cut ‘n’ Paste exhibit. After running through all the captions on the wall, we finally found what was unmistakably the corresponding one, clued in by the vital organ referenced: Heart of the District by ZA Architects. The Germany-based architecture firm came in second place in an international competition with their futuristic heart-shaped pod-like structure. Their proposal, for a hotel in NYC, integrates the street, the city dwellers, as well as the hotel guests, giving the tourist a more inside experience on their visit. The hotel rooms would reside in the existing adjacent buildings with the heart shape construction acting as a hub to draw people in and mix, acquaint them inside its tight spaces, while they partake in varied activities. The “heart’ itself would contain a playground, shop, exhibition space, café, bar, hotel reception, lounge zone, small cinema, library, conference hall. And, it goes without saying, whether you like it or not, the structure would likely become a NY icon.

All images courtesy of the architects.

Voice Tunnel by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

NYC August Summer Streets, interactive art installations, Voice Tunnel, Rafael Lozano-HemmerNYC August Summer Streets, interactive art installations, Voice Tunnel, Rafael Lozano-HemmerNYC August Summer Streets, interactive art installations, Voice Tunnel, Coolstop Chat Travieso, The Course of Emotions, Risa PinoClick to enlarge

As part of this year’s Summer Streets in NYC — an annual celebration of the city’s most valuable public space: its streets! — for three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park are closed to traffic and opened for people to play, walk, bike, and enjoy. This year, as part of this event the Park Avenue Tunnel which runs from 33rd to 40th Streets, will be transformed into an interactive sound and light installation, Voice Tunnel, by Mexican artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (previously here and here.)  This rare opportunity to stroll the tunnel will invite participants to walk to a midpoint in the tunnel and deliver short messages into an intercom. The words/sounds will then reverberate out in waves of sound and arching light until they disappear. The intensity of the light will be determined by the pitch and volume of the person’s voice.

Voice Tunnel will be taken down after each of the three Saturdays before car traffic resumes, and will be set up again the following week. Other, smaller, interactive installations include Chat Travieso‘s CoolStop at Foley Square, a water mister that connects to fire hydrants made with recycled PVC piping. The 10′ installation resembles a large splash that participants will be able to stand under for a small reprieve from the heat. Also, The Course of Emotions: a mini-golf experience by Risa Puno, that translates everyday feelings into 9 holes of playable fun. Players putt through a range of emotional obstacles, like the seesaw platform of Insecurity and the par-40 Frustration maze.

Summer Streets will take place on the first three Saturdays of August (3rd, 10th & 17th) from 7am to 1pm.

Photos: Chang W. Lee/New York Times; & SummerStreets