While Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group's The Shed might not open until spring 2019, its creative team will be hosting nearly two weeks of free arts events this May to build anticipation for the ribbon-cutting. A Prelude to The Shed, held on a vacant lot at 10th Avenue and 30th Street in Manhattan, will feature live concerts, dance battles, art-focused political panels, and experimental classes that foreshadow offerings of the under-construction telescoping arts venue in Hudson Yards. From May 1 until May 13, visitors can experience Prelude in and around a reconfigured steel shed designed by architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works and artist Tino Sehgal. Prelude’s smaller shed will echo its larger counterpart by being fluid and transformable, with elements of the building able to move in response to the dancers within. “Using simple technologies, we made the structure so that it can be moved and transformed by people, enabling its participation in different formats of art, education, events, and public life,” said Adeyemi, in a press release. Each day of Prelude will bring a different program, though everything will be connected through Sehgal’s curation. Every morning, artist Asad Raza will lead experimental classes, based on his ongoing “Schema for a school” work, while panels on art’s role in social connectivity and the politics of ritualized gatherings will be hosted every other evening. Bolstering the series’ connection to The Shed, Prelude will host reproduced ephemera from architect Cedric Price’s Fun Palace, an unrealized moveable and multi-purpose venue that heavily influenced The Shed. Mobile exhibition carts stocked with artifacts from the Fun Palace will move around the temporary space to encourage public interaction. “Like The Fun Palace, Prelude is a hybridization of exhibition and performance, functionally structured to encourage open engagement with audiences and fresh, collaborative approaches from artists,” said Hans Ulrich Obrist, The Shed's artistic advisor. “It is emblematic of our own era in that it lends itself to the choreography of 21st-century time-based exhibitions.” A full schedule of Prelude’s programming can be found here, including a lineup for the concert series.
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By 2019, the Hudson Yards on Manhattan's West Side will host The Shed. Half a century ago, chances are most people would have presumed that any mention of a "shed" in the rail yards would be used to house locomotives. Now, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Designed by New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, The Shed will be home to New York City’s "first newly established 21st-century center for the arts." Rising to six stories and covering 200,000-square-feet, The Shed will comprise a museum, theater/performance space, rehearsal area, and an artists' lab. "We will work with original artists and thinkers from across all art forms and disciplines, to produce and present their new work for the widest range of audiences from NYC and around the world," said The Shed in its mission statement. "We will welcome those artists who take risks, advance their fields, and address the significant issues of our time." "As NYC’s first newly established 21st-century center for the arts, we will benefit from the latest technology, offering powerful opportunities for our artists and our audiences," the mission statement continued. This leads to The Shed's most defining feature: a telescoping shell mounted on rails. Mimicking the great cranes that were once commonplace on the piers stretching into the Hudson River, the shell can support (literally and figuratively) a wide range of activities when it's rolled onto the adjacent plaza. The 20,000 square-foot public plaza can be transformed into an multitude of venues, most notably a 1,250-seat theater (up from its other 500-seater capacity venue). The theater will be created by lifting a screen on one of the main building's upper levels and replacing it with seating. At 120 feet high, the space can be a sound- and temperature-controlled hall that can also cater for an audience of 3,000 members around a performance space. It can also house large-scale artwork. When not covering the plaza, the shell can be used as a canvas for screenings. Watch the telescopic framework in action in the video below: