2017 Next Wave Art
Opened Monday, September 25 at BAM, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 22.
If you are involved in media or even know someone involved in media, you have probably heard frequent mentions of the phrase “pivot to video.” This typically means deciding your digital media company is going to focus on making videos instead of producing written editorial content, and frequently means writers getting fired. Many argue that this new focus on short-form video content that’s prone to autoplaying all over Facebook is happening because it’s an easier way for advertisers to make money in an unstable industry. It could also signal a change in how people want to consume content.
There are debates about this, of course; some studies show millennials would still rather read their news than watch it, but surely as more images, emojis, and videos appear on your newsfeed, you are bound to look at some of them. I claim to hate videos but find even myself glancing at a gratuitous recipe video autoplaying on mute from time to time. While not explicitly about the digital media industry, this year’s BAM Next Wave fall exhibition feels quite relevant to this debate. The show examines a cultural shift, one that is beginning to prioritize images over text. Not just that, but it argues that images are becoming the “dominant tool of expression” for us. As this is an art show, which is innately image-based, perhaps they’re onto something here.
Now Those Days Are Gone
Opening Thursday, September 28 at Magnan Metz, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 21.
Perhaps you caught wind of Duke Riley’s unique and feathered public art installation Fly By Night when it cropped up around the Brooklyn Navy Yard last year. The project involved 2,000 trained pigeons carrying LED lights through the NYC skies to illuminate the night. A year later, the gallery Magnan Metz is mounting an exhibition that acts as a retrospective of Fly By Night while also showing new work by Riley inspired by his public bird project. Now Those Days Are Gone includes large long exposure photos of the LED-carrying pigeons in action, 1,000 hand painted and embroidered pigeon portraits, mosaic pieces using predatory birds to comment on the state of U.S. politics, and more.
A Working Model of the World
Opening Thursday, September 28 at the Parsons Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 5:30 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 13.
Many processes, from set design to 3D printing, involve making a model as a tiny showcase of the final product. Model-making can sometimes be very laborious, involving precise measurements and scale rulers and figuring out what materials will result in something that looks accurately like a chair but is the size of a sugar packet. When models are usually constructed using different materials and scales, why make them at all? Are they an indulgent use of resources and time or a crucial step in the process of making an idea a reality? While there’s no clearcut answer to this question, this exhibition presented in partnership with Sydney-based UNSW Galleries and The Curators’s Department takes a dive into the small and surreal world of models and what they can do for us.
For those interested in getting a behind-the-scenes scoop on the show, there will be a curator’s talk on Thursday at 5:30 pm followed by the opening reception that features something called a “cloud tasting” by participating artist Karolina Sobecka.
Miyazaki Art Show
Opening Friday, September 29 at Spoke Art NYC, 6 pm to 10 pm. On view through October 1.
Mark your calendars, because Spoke Art in the Lower East Side is having another one of their big pop culture tribute shows, and this one’s all about the work of the beloved Studio Ghibli animator Hayao Miyazaki. Previous shows of the same nature have included a Bob’s Burgers tribute show, which was a charming and sometimes even poignant showcase of creative fanart in an IRL gallery setting that even had real burgers being grilled. For that show and others at the gallery, lines stretched several blocks, so if you want to get in on the opening reception (or the show at all, it’s only on view for three days), be sure to plan ahead. Plus, costumes are encouraged.
Unrelated to this show, but last week I saw a drag routine that involved three people in a giant costume of No Face from Spirited Away and it was sincerely incredible. I assume the art in this show will be similarly engaging, as Miyazaki has truly given us a whole lot to be inspired by.