EXPO 1: New York MoMA PS1 22-25 Jackson Avenue Long Island City, NY Through September 2 EXPO 1: New York is an art festival dedicated to the environmental and sociopolitical challenges of the 21st Century that runs through September 2. In addition to occupying the entirety of MoMA PS1’s Long Island City home, the show encompasses exhibitions at other venues throughout New York City, including the Rain Room at the Museum of Modern Art and the VW Dome 2 at Rockaway Beach. The festival is centered on the idea of what its curators call “dark optimism.” The exhibitions, installations, and prototypes featured in the festival suggest the end of an era plagued by climate change, economic suffering, and political strife, and the beginning of a new, brighter future. Highlights include the legendary artist-environmentalist Ansel Adams’ photographs, Meg Webster’s site-specific ecosystem Pool, and Olafur Eliasson’s glacial ice installation Your waste of time in the basement of MoMA PS1.
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In an effort to secure financial backing for the city's cultural institutions, New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who is the chair of the city council’s Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee, has locked in $3 million of city budget funds to expand MoMA PS1. The funds will be used for the museum to specifically acquire the small apartment building at the rear of its current Romanesque Revival school building at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, Queens. Van Bramer has revealed that the purchase will allow the museum to expand its exhibition space. The museum is deciding if it will shift its offices from the main building to the apartment structure. The funding has been apportioned to the museum in capital funds as part of the city’s 2014 budget, which was confirmed last month. Councilman Van Bramer also allotted budget funds for some other arts organizations in his Queens district including The Noguchi Museum, which will receive $600,000 in capital funds for a new generator to replace one damaged by Hurricane Sandy flooding, and SculptureCenter, which will receive $300,000 in funding. According to DNA Info, the councilman said “It’s a real imperative to expand our cultural institutions, expand their foot prints, increase funding for them and allow them to do more of what they already do well—produce art that brings lots of people to the neighborhood, who then spend money in the neighborhood.”
Hurricane Sandy not only caused considerable damage to the Rockaways, but it also exposed the vulnerability of New York City’s waterfront communities to future storms and changing weather patterns. Today, the American Institute of Architects New York, along with NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, L+M Development Partners, Bluestone Organization, Triangle Equities, and Enterprise Community Partners, announced a new design competition for "resilient and sustainable development in the Rockaways." The group called on architects to come up with different strategies for how cities can build more thoughtfully in areas prone to flooding. Following the June 14th deadline for submissions, a jury will preside over the proposals. The jury will announce four finalists in July—each of which will receive a stipend of $30,000 to continue to hone their ideas. The winner will be revealed on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and will be granted an additional $30,000 for their work. The Rockaways have been the focus of a number of competitions, including MoMA PS 1's EXPO 1: NEW YORK, that asked artists, designers, and architects to submit 3-minute videos that provide ideas for making the Rockaways more sustainable.
Rockaway Beach, the waterfront community severely battered by Hurricane Sandy, is now the site of MoMA PS1's geodesic dome, a temporary cultural center offering lectures, exhibits, performances, and community events. PS1 kicked off the opening of the VW Dome 2 last Friday with a performance by singer Patti Smith, a fellow Rockaways resident. The museum will collaborate with local organizations in Queens to provide a range of programming over the next few months. The VW Dome 2 is part of a larger upcoming exhibit, EXPO 1: NEW YORK, that will present a variety of ideas and strategies to create a more sustainable waterfront. Last month, MoMA PS1 called on artists, architects, and designers to submit 3-minute video proposals that address relevant issues such as shoreline protections, community engagement, and climate change. The 25 winning submissions will be on view within the next month. Of course, this discussion would be incomplete and shortsighted without the feedback from the local community. Kevin Boyle, editor of The Wave, and Ideas Wanted-columnist Rick Horan have set up a video camera inside the VW Dome 2 and invited residents to participate in a conversation about the recovery efforts and needs of the Rockaways. The first Open Camera Session took place on Saturday, but locals will have another opportunity to offer their input tonight between 6:30 and 8:30 PM. The VW Dome 2 is located at the southern end of the parking lot between Beach 94th and Beach 95th Streets.
Caroline O'Donnell's Ithaca-based studio, CODA, is preparing to build a towering pavilion in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Queens out of scrap from the manufacture of skateboards. O'Donnell talked to AN when the pavilion, called Party Wall, was unveiled in January, saying, "There are eight different kinds of skateboard forms, and each board has its own errors, which produce surprising effects." CODA has now released a stunning video rendering showing Party Wall peeking over the walls of the PS1 courtyard adjacent to landmarks like the graffiti-covered Five Pointz building across the street. It suggests how the crowds that flock to MoMA PS1 each summer might interact with the structure showing benches also made from scrap wood. (Plus, an easter egg: check out what the pavilion's shadow spells at the 1:40 mark!) Party Wall will open in late June and we'll be sure to see you there! All renderings courtesy MoMA PS1. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
The Rockaways was one of many waterfront communities that sustained serious damage from Hurricane Sandy, which makes it an appropriate site for MoMA PS1’s upcoming exhibit. But first, MoMA PS1 and MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design are reaching out to artists, architects, and designers to come up with ideas for creating a sustainable waterfront—whether that touches upon protection of the shoreline or alternative housing—to be presented at the show. Twenty-five proposals will be selected and presented online and at MoMA PS1’s temporary space, the VW Dome2 in Rockaway Beach during the month of April. But hurry, the deadline for proposals is tomorrow. Submissions should be in the format of a short video (under 3 minutes).
Here in New York, we're excited to see CODA's massive Party Wall installation made of scrap from skateboard manufacturing rise at MoMA PS1 for this year's Young Architects Program (YAP). But the annual YAP, which recognizes emerging architects and invites them to design and build a temporary installation, has gone global. MoMA has announced the third installment of YAP at Rome's MAXXI museum designed by bam! bottega di architettura metropolitan and has launched a new program in Istanbul won by SO? Architecture and Ideas. SO? Architecture and Ideas' installation, Sky Spotting Stop, calls for a series of mirrored sun shades that give height to the museum's courtyard and play off the waters of the nearby Bosphorus. The mirrored discs are intended to provide playful shadows and reflections during the day and can be uplit at night. The installation opens in June at Istanbul Modern. In Rome, bam! bottega di architettura metropolitan's Helium-filled installation, He, will float above the MAXXI's courtyard shading a grassy lawn and wooden platform below. During the day, water will drip from the installation to cool the plaza. At night, the mass will glow as a large, floating lantern. At the end of the summer, the Helium from the installation will be reused for scientific research. The installation will open on June 20 at the MAXXI museum. A third international program has also been established in Santiago, Chile.
Big Ass Fans are, as their name suggests, a producer of very large fans. They're used everywhere from dairy barns to art galleries to outdoor public installations like Wendy, HWKN's star-shaped pavilion for MoMA PS1's summer Warm Up series. They also make residential models, like Haiku, the latest product in their line up. Once you get over the eye roll-inducing slogan—Haiku: Poetry in Motion—it's a really incredible product. According to Energy Star it's the world's most efficient residential ceiling fan, and even exceeds their efficiency requirements by 450 to 750 percent. Whereas most fans use 90 to 100 watts, the Haiku uses just two to 30 watts, costing an average of $5 per year. The fan blades are made from Moso bamboo, a super-strong, fast-renewing material that's harvested sustainably in China and handcrafted in Kentucky. Before the bamboo is dried and finished, each individual stalk is inspected for imperfections. Haiku also comes in a glass-infused matrix composite in black or white. Either way, black, white, or bamboo, the cool-running motor is completely silent, even on the highest setting (there are ten in all). There's also a brand new mode called the Whoosh, which pulses to simulate natural variations in air flow. "Human thermal receptors have peak sensitivity to wind gusts that vary by 0.47 Hz; Providing air movement with this variation can increase perceived cooling by up to 40 percent." So far Haiku has won a handful of awards, including a red dot design award for product and bronze in the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in the living room and bedroom category. Haiku in bamboo retails for $995.
Last night, crowds of young architecture types filled the courtyard at MoMA PS1 in Queens to meet Wendy, this year's Young Architects Program winner by HWKN. Visible from the nearby elevated subway station and from the streets around MoMA PS1, Wendy is comprised of pollution-fighting fabric spikes set in a grid of scaffolding intersecting the concrete courtyard walls. Yesterday's crowds were given special access to the interior of the installation, revealing a complex structure of poles, fans, and misters that will cool visitors this summer. MoMA PS1 will host its annual Warm Up music series in the courtyard beginning on July 7, showcasing "the best in experimental live music, sound, performance, and DJs." Wendy will officially open to the public on July 1. Meanwhile, at a taxi garage across the street, small fragments of last year's installation by Interboro called Holding Pattern are still in use on the sidewalk. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
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Wendy will eat the smog of the equivalent of 260 cars this summer"I cannot wait for the data to come in so we can show people," said Matthias Hollwich, a principal of the Manhattan-based architecture firm HWKN. Hollwich is talking about the air quality monitoring system that will be hooked up to Wendy, the 3,000 square-foot star-shaped pavilion HWKN is currently installing in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 for the annual Young Architect's Program. Because PS1's Kraftwerk exhibition occupied the museum's courtyard until May 14th, HWKN only had six weeks to build Wendy, which will not only house a pool, a misting station, a water canon, an elevated dj booth and an exhibition space, it will "eat" smog all summer long thanks to a special little ingredient called TiO2. Developed by Cristal, a titanium dioxide products manufacturer, and Glen Finkel at PURETi, TiO2 is a titanium nanoparticle that, when activated by the sun, engages in photocatalytic oxidation, a chemical process that safely and instantly oxidizes organic matter at the molecular level and converts it into water vapor and trace amounts of CO2. Since TiO2 is the catalyst, it's not consumed in the process. When it's applied to a building, a road or, in this case, a huge outdoor pavilion, its smog-fighting properties last for a minimum of five years. And because the water vapor washes away, the treated surfaces stay dramatically cleaner than their untreated counterparts. There are several brands of titanium dioxide coating on the market, but Finkel claims that PURETi's award-winning formula is the best because it doesn't come from a powder that’s mixed in or melted down, but from a liquid (99% water, 1% mineral content) so thin, clear and durable it can bond to virtually any surface, including fabric, glass and stone. It also requires less light to function than any known competitor, and is the only photocatalytic surface treatment known to work on the north side of a building in the shade. To maximize the surface area onto which TiO2 can be sprayed, HWKN created an intricate cluster of pointed shapes and employed structural engineers from Knippers Helbig, who worked for one month to develop a "totally reinvented" cross bracing system to hold the shape of the TiO2-treated PVC-based fabric from Botex(they were originally going to use nylon but it sags over time). “Normally when you have tensile structures it has a curve, and that has been done,” said Hollwich. “We wanted to do something formally different, so the cones are wrapped around the cross bracing which gives it its stealth form.” Surrounding Wendy with scaffolding was an aesthetic choice as much as it was a structural necessity. "The fabric is being pulled from the core to the edges and to be able to hold that edge we needed the scaffolding. The form of Wendy is also the structural system.” The whole framework is held in place by forty 5-foot-long temporary ground screws by Krinner that can be unscrewed in September when the pavilion is taken down. Using an equation based on the amount of nano particles sprayed onto Wendy, the estimated sun exposure and the average pollutants generated by local Long Island City traffic, HWKN calculated that over the course of the summer Wendy's paint job will clean up pollutants from the equivalent of 260 cars. If it sounds too good to be true, the only downside of TiO2 seems to be that it's expensive, though a little bit does go a long way—one gallon can cover 4,000 square feet. Still, at 70 cents per square-foot it's no surprise that Pureti's main clients aren't homeowners, but NASA and other large institutions like Los Angeles Community College, the 2015 Milan Expo, and office buildings in London. Hollwich sayid he's "surprised that the whole world isn't using it, because it's really magical," adding that he hopes the high visibility of Wendy will encourage more people to use TiO2 in everything from buildings and roads to textiles. In fact, MoMA will be selling t-shirts and totes sprayed down with TiO2, and after the summer programming is over Wendy herself will be cut apart and sewn into smog-fighting bags.
Lara Favaretto: Just Knocked Out MoMA PS1 22-25 Jackson Avenue Long Island City, NY Through September 10 Lara Favaretto’s installations and sculptures at once perform and memorialize their decay. Often incorporating elements from previous installations in new works and using discarded industrial material, Favaretto makes futile and impermanent gestures, ephemeral monuments to aspiration and failure. The works describe loss: found paintings encased in yarn, obscuring and preserving the original; cubes made of confetti, decomposing throughout the span of an exhibition; car-wash brushes, whirling and wearing down against metal plates (above). These mechanisms celebrate futile motions, becoming memorials imbued with the reality of their own obsolescence.
Walking into the large, egg-like structure of the MoMA Ps1 Performance Dome, the German electronic band Kraftwerk's song "Man-Machine" was the perfect accompaniment to the architecture. Their music represents the kind of progressive attitude towards materials (instruments) and aesthetics (sounds) that is captured perfectly in the temporary structure. A shiny, white, geodesic dome reminiscent of fellow early techno-fetishist Buckminster Fuller, the space features a super-high-fidelity sound system, 8 screens projecting various computer art, and not much else. It is the ideal pairing of minimalism and technology with Kraftwerk's slick electronic melodies. Completely white on the inside and out, the dome is like a default setting, its tabula-rasa interior serving as the screen for 8 large projections approximately 15 feet off the ground, which are large enough to capture your attention and hold it. Each performance can start over, with its own tailored set of videos or images. The dome itself is almost blank, the speakers and projectors creating the spatial experience. The depth of sound that these speakers produces creates a voluminous soundscape. The nature of the dome is that there is quite a bit of extra space at the top, so the space is left half filled with the sounds of the performance and accompanying projections. These projections form a ring, and the dome is at its best when the lights are low enough to obscure the actual structure. The ring of projections then becomes the ceiling, like a spectacular cathedral to performance, or a futuristic, cosmic Pantheon. Instead of a single screen located behind the stage, these eight projections are arranged radially, on one surface, maintaining a spectacular sense of scale, but providing little spatial context. It is easy to get lost, disoriented. Everywhere around the circular stage is almost exactly the same, and you are left subject to only two 'architectural' forces: the speakers, and the videos, both of which are arranged in a equidistant, radial pattern. The user is transposed into one of Kraftwerk's visions, into a momentary place where technology becomes the only mediator of space and body and the building disappears. The electronic elements of performance become the spatial experience. The dome is a moving take on the immaterial, ephemeral nature of performance art, and stands as a high-water mark for museums presenting multidisciplinary work.