Festival of Ideas for the New City 2011: Galleries Preview

According to the introductory statement to the Festival’s website, “Festival of Ideas for the New City is a major new collaborative initiative in New York, involving scores of Downtown organizations working together to harness the power of the creative community to imagine the future city and explore ideas that will shape it. The Festival will include a three-day slate of symposia; an innovative StreetFest along the Bowery; and over eighty independent projects and public events.”

In this guide, we’ve picked out some of the most incredible gallery-hosted events taking place during the course of this festival, serving as a filter for the best, so you don’t have to! We did not include, however, panels and conferences which are going on, so it is highly recommended that visit the Festival website at www.festivalofideasnyc.com to see those, as well as festival events we have not listed here.

Stay tuned for our post regarding Streetfest-related installations and happenings, taking place on May 7th!

past fits and future pulls: james Fuentes llc

Daniel Subkoff and Will Chancellor offer for disassembly a large clay sculpture embedded with native seeds. Remains will be woven into the Bowery environs the following day using boustrophedon technology.
Location: Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center (107 Suffolk St, btwn Rivington & Delancey Sts)
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-593
Date: May 7th, all day
More details: http://www.jamesfuentes.com/

borderland: smartspaces

Curated by Andrea Hill, Borderland borrows from the format of television and the democratic ideas behind community access networks, airing a video art program that includes interactive works on public view 24/7. Featuring videos and interactive pieces by Benjamin Crotty, Noah Feehan / AKA, Rainer Ganahl, Tatiana Kronberg, Nour Mobarak, Adam Shecter.
Location: 200 Lafayette Street, btwn Broome & Kenmare Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-3756
Date: May 1st through June 1st, 24 hours a day
More details: http://www.smartspaces.org/

Richard Long: Flow and Ebb: sperone westwater

Artist Richard Long creates an homage to nature in urban installations. Drawing made with river mud and sculpture of native stone generate a reconfigured nature. According to Sperone Westwater’s press release: “Long presents a text work Flow and Ebb, Rise and Fall in the gallery’s Moving Room, which travels between the second and fourth floors, referencing the motion of tides. The third floor features wall-sized text works that narrate Long’s recent outdoor walks and experiences, such as Human Nature Walk (2011) from his 21-day walk in South Africa. In Megalithic to Subatomic: From Carnac to Cern (2008), Long describes the extreme range of materials in nature – from large-sized stones to the minute atoms in particle physics.”
Location: 257 Bowery, between East Houston & Stanton Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1656
Date: May 7th, from 10:00am to 6:00pm
More details: http://www.speronewestwater.com/cgi-bin/iowa/index.html

URBAN TAPESTRY A Vision for the New City: theater for the new city

Urban Tapestry engages the public by weaving visual and performing arts into a 2-day event focusing on preservation and innovation. According to the website, this will be “a multidisciplinary exhibition, weaves visual, conceptual, and performing arts into a two-day event that combines preservation and innovation, building a base for a heterogeneous and sustainable city using visual art, installations, music and performance to engage the public,” covering topics as diverse as “Art & Design, storytelling and local history, party (reception), Exhibition, Lecture/Discussion, and Performance.”
Location: Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, between East 9th & East 10th Streets
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-549
Date: May 7th, from 10:00am to 11:00pm
More details: http://www.artistasdeloisaida.org/

Cronocaos, an exhibition by Rem Koolhaas and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture: new museum

Cronocaos explores the simultaneity of preservation and destruction, which obliterates any sense of a linear evolution of time. The exhibition will take place in a partially renovated space adjacent to the New Museum. And yes, it costs money, but thanks to expert curation, it’s always a good time at The New Museum.
Location: 231 Bowery, between Stanton & Rivington Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-667
Date: May 7th, 11:00am to 6:00pm
More details: http://www.newmuseum.org

Robert Melee: This is For You: invisible-exports

A looped screening shows five dancers interpreting nine physical acts including “imitate a chicken” and “lick your biceps” for Melee’s 2003 performance at Judson Church in an ode to a new era of performance art.
Location: 14A Orchard Street, between Hester & Canal Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1665
Date: May 7th and May 8th, 11:00am to 11:59pm
More details: http://www.invisible-exports.com/

Floating Constructs: Number 35 Gallery

Alexa Kreissl proposes a sculpture on outdoor surfaces, creating unfamiliar and multifaceted environments. Kreissl will present an installation incorporating sculpture, drawing, light and shadow. The shadows of a second, indoor sculpture by Kreissl are projected at various angles on the wall.
Location: 141 Attorney St between Stanton & Rivington Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1577
Date: May 7th through June 12th, 12:00pm to 6:00pm
More details: http://www.numberthirtyfive.com/


Three artists examine their own concepts of home in a series of activities based on the notion of NYC as a multicultural city with a big population constantly on the move. Performances by Ryan Brown and Jano Cortijo. Video-interviews by Cecilia Jurado. Installation inside and outside the gallery by Tom Fruin, pictured above. Installation by Antonio la Rosa. Discussion with leaders of local shelters.
Location: 335A Bowery Street Basement, between East 3rd Street & East 2nd Street
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-651
Date: May 7th and May 8th, 12:00pm to 6:00pm
More details: http://www.ygallerynewyork.com/

The Self Illuminating City: Allegra LaViola Gallery

Inside, let yourself be overwhelmed by brightness as Timothy Hutchings fills the space with light. Outside, get tempted by Jennifer Catron & Paul Outlaw’s Fish Fry Truck and Crawfish Boil.
Location: 179 East Broadway, between Jefferson & Rutgers Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-546
Date: May 7th and May 8th, 12:00pm to 9:00pm
More details: http://www.allegralaviola.com/

Urban Disorientation Game: christina ray gallery

Rediscover NYC as you are blindfolded and escorted to an unknown location. Remove the blindfold, make maps, explore the surroundings, and attempt to make it back to home base.
Location: Starting point at NE corner of Bowery & Rivington at noon. (Participants are asked to commit for the entire time.)
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-562
Date: May 7th, 12:00pm to 7:00pm
More details: http://www.christinaray.com/

loophole: frosch&portmann

Swiss artist Raffaela Chiara responds to her New York experience with an illuminated mountain sculpture featuring a sound-filled cave; while drawings and photographs pinned to the wall become a personal map of the city.
Location: 3 Stanton Street, between Forsyth & Eldridge Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-585
Date: May 7th and May 8th, 12:00pm to 11:59pm
More details: http://froschportmann.com/

1000 Hearts by Kristen Zwicker: Michael Mut Gallery

Prepare to embrace the cheesy and heartwarming! Videos and a multimedia participatory installation document artists taking to the streets of New York, distributing stickers that say “Love Yourself,” and hand-folded origami hearts with messages of what people love about themselves. Exhibition through 5/28.
Location: 97 Avenue C, between East 6th Street & East 7th Street
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-1628
Date: May 7th through May 28th, 12:00pm to 11:59pm
More details: http://www.michaelmutgallery.com/

Group Show: Kin and Daimond Marchand: Kammeropolis: sloan fine art

Kin features several New York painters who have come of age in a heterogeneous time. Daimon Marchand invites viewers into Kammeroplis, an installation comprised of technological and organic elements.
Location: 128 Rivington Street, at Norfolk Street
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-631
Date: May 7th through May 28th, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
More details: http://www.sloanfineart.com/

David Shapiro: Money Is No Object: Sue Scott Gallery

Embarrassingly personal and strangely generic, David Shapiro redrew and repainted all his personal bills and receipts for one year, revealing the common denominator of consumption as both distinctive and banal.
Location: 1 Rivington Street, between Bowery & Chrystie Streets
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-636
Date: May 7th through May 28th, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
More details: http://www.suescottgallery.com/

Trystette+Bobbie Rae Present Solcycle: FusionArts Museum

Trystette+BobbieRae group RE-DE-CON-STRUCT the soul of their music/projection/fused art creating an artistic phoenix of multi-tiered communication and interaction, recovery through collaborative creative renewal. Art/music exhibition.
Location: 57 Stanton Street, between Forsyth & Eldridge Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-3194
Date: May 7th, 6:00pm to 11:59pm
More details: http://www.fusionartsmuseum.org/ + http://www.trystette.com/

Shhhhhhhhhhhh: the underground library

Alternative to the “get anything, anytime” ethos of Internet spectacle, this series allows Festival-goers to check out multi-media books published as takeaway heirlooms, encouraging human contact through the distribution of art.
Location: Old School, 233 Mott Street between Prince & Spring
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-644
Date: May 7th and May 8th, 6:00pm to 2:00am
More details: http://www.theundergroundlibrary.org/

School Nite: the they co

Restrictive allocation of city space foster partnerships between otherwise unrelated groups. Here, a vacant school is bequeathed to artists and cultural organizations for site-specific installations, performances, discussions and lectures implicating hopes, insights, and fears for a Future City. There are an endless, endless number of participants, as though this were a festival in and of itself! Don’t miss this! Included projects can be seen at the “more details” link below.
Location: 233 Mott Street, between Prince & Spring Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-3565
Date: May 7th to May 8th, 6:00pm to 4:00am
More details: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/program#event-3565

Birds and Bees: Flight of Fantasy: ny studio gallery

Russian-based American artist Yuliya Lanina works with C. Eule Dance Company on Flight Of Fantasy a performance art piece that envisions “a sustainable balance between urban development and colonies of butterflies.” Considering her artwork features mythologically and symbolically-affected characters comprised of unlikely building blocks and body parts, you can expect this performance to be most interesting.
Location: 154 Stanton Street, between Suffolk & Clinton Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-621
Date: May 7th, 7:00pm to 7:30pm
More details: http://www.nystudiogallery.com/

Survival AIDS/Hunter Reynolds: Performance & Panel: Visual AIDS and Participant Inc.

Artist and AIDS activist Hunter Reynolds enacts mummification while a symposium and discussion panel discuss how HIV and AIDS have shaped NYC’s queer community.
Location: 253 E Houston St, btwn Norfolk & Suffolk Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-2465
Date: May 7th, 7:00pm to 11:59pm
More details: http://www.visualaids.org/ + http://www.participantinc.org/

Flash:Light: Nuit Blanche New York

Over twenty artists working in site-specific light, sound and projection art invite you to discover, drift and linger along an illuminated path of re-configured public spaces, temporary installations and performances through the night. Artists (list in formation): Vito Acconci, Rita Ackermann, Hisham Bharoocha, Marco Brambilla, Antoine Catala, Mitchell Joachim, Chris Jordan, Andreas Laszlo Konrath, Jason Krugman, Jules Marquis, Ohad Meromi, Cary Ng, Miho Ogai, Aïda Ruilova, Ursula Scherrer, Claire Scoville, Kant Smith, Softlab, Ryan Uzilevsky / Farkas Fülöp (Light Harvest), Adriana Varella, Guido van der Werve. The above video is Twenty-First Century Bonfire, an installation by Jason Eppink, from last year’s Bring To Light festival. Visit their website to see just a sampling of the amazing things they’ve done in the past. There will also be music inside the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, in conjunction with this event.
Location: New Museum and Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, Mulberry Street between Houston & Prince Sts
Map it: http://www.festivalofideasnyc.com/map#event-618
Date: May 7th, 8:00pm to 11:59pm
More details: http://www.bringtolightnyc.org/

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

View all articles
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x