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Drones to Invade Knockdown Center This Summer

The Knockdown Center is accepting submissions for a drone obstacle course to be built this summer (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The Knockdown Center is accepting submissions for a drone obstacle course to be built this summer (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Call me a hyper-sensitive freak, but when I first heard the buzzing sound of a drone hovering above the smooth concrete floor at Knockdown Center, I got the chills. There’s something deeply ominous about drones, not least of all because they’ve become synonymous with a futuristic, one-sided (for now anyway) kind of warfare that’s shrouded in secrecy. Somewhat evil undeniably, but drones are also fascinating. “I have a drone newsfeed and stuff pops up like every day, probably 10 or 15 different stories ranging from ‘Three People Killed in Pakistan’ to ‘Drone Captures Surfing Dolphin’ or ‘Perverts are Spying on People,’” said Michael Merck, the creative director at Knockdown Center. It’s no wonder, then, that the Queens-based art center has chosen drones as the centerpiece of its summer exhibition.

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This Exhibition Explores What Happens When Brooklyn Girls Drink Ayahuasca

Melanie Bonajo's solo exhibition "Nocturnal Gardening" on view at Company Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Melanie Bonajo’s solo exhibition “Nocturnal Gardening” on view at Company Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Walking into the Company Gallery on the Lower East Side feels like stepping inside a Tumblr. Photographs of painted people, tinted by sunlight flooding in through colorful tissue paper, are interspersed with delicate ferns and towering bamboo sticks. A lithium drone within the gallery’s white walls is broken up by Night Soil – Fake Paradise, an experimental documentary film by Melanie Bonajo in which women from Brooklyn candidly discussion their deeply personal experiences with ayahuasca. Some of the revelations are blissful and mystic while others turn completely horrifying, melting the psyche down into utterly submissive goo — Bonajo’s way of reminding us of the immeasurable power of psychedelic substances.

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Dina Gadia’s Collages Are Chopped and Screwed Visions of a Golden Age

"Antiquated Ideals," by Dina Gadia

“Antiquated Ideals,” by Dina Gadia

Dina Gadia’s pulpy, graphic collages, now on view at Greenpoint’s Owen James Gallery, bring to mind a ’50s wholesomeness and tropical kitsch while at the same time challenging it. Her collages are at once subtle and unabashedly clear, familiar and obscure, paradoxes that hold fast because Gadia, a Filipino artist living and working in Manila, is working in two, if not three registers by exploring the impact of Spanish but especially American influence on Filipino culture.

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Experience Synesthesia Through Interactive Brain Wave Art at Reverse Gallery

, installation by (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Eunoia II,” installation by Lisa Park at Reverse Gallery (Photo: Nicole Disser)

For once count yourself lucky if you missed an art opening. Synaestheticsa new exhibition at Reverse Gallery in Williamsburg opened last Friday; sure, there was free booze and great people watching, but the two interactive installations that are featured and the trans-sensory trips they inspire are best experienced in isolation or maybe at most with one other partner. Both Eunoia II, by Lisa Park, and Format No. 1, by Louise Foo and Martha Skou, strangely mimic our increasingly digital experience of the world, which is itself a lonesome, disconnected way of engaging with people more and more through social media.

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This New Art Space Is Gangster About Preserving Chinatown’s Heritage

Max Waldman, Michelle Esteva, and Jordan Hill of Chinatown Soup. (Photos: Paula Ho)

Max Waldman, Michelle Esteva, and Jordan Hill of Chinatown Soup. Gate art by Boy Kong. (Photos: Paula Ho)

Gentrification is inevitable, the folks at Chinatown Soup know that. But Michelle Esteva, Jordan Hill, and Max Waldman are ready. Sleeves rolled up and muscles flexed, they’re eager to preserve the cultural heritage of Chinatown — downtown Manhattan’s final frontier — one art exhibition at a time.

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Music Blog-Turned-Zine Alt Citizen Gets Even Realer With Shop and Gallery

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a peek inside the space (Photo: Cheryl Georgette Arent)

Alt Citizen has been doing their thing since 2012– the music blog’s bread-and-butter is album reviews (past and present), essays, show recommendations (mostly local Brooklyn stuff), and interviews with bands from all over. Last year, they expanded to a pocket-sized zine, of which three issues have dropped. “When you do a blog for years you start to go crazy not having a tangible thing to show people in terms of what you’re working on, so the zine naturally came out of that,” editor-in-chief and founder Nasa Hadizadeh admitted. The same impetus was behind Alt Space, a brand new storefront and gallery Alt Citizen is opening in Bushwick next week.

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Artist Turns MTA’s Forsaken Pit Into Neighborhood Bright Spot

(Photo: Andrew Diemer)

(Photo: Andrew Diemer)

Having been around for over 100 years, the subway system in New York is replete with ghost stations, abandoned platforms, and tunnels to nowhere. There’s so much of it that the MTA’s neglected property has become something of a fascination, and while projects like the Lowline seek to transform abandoned platforms into pleasant public spaces, mostly these unused areas become depressing garbage pits. But artist Andrew Diemer, a graphic design student at Pratt, has transformed one of these phantom spots with a simple installation.

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Stylist for Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe Plans a Multi-Sensory Immersive Exhibition

Hensler's Styling for 'Futura,' Bullett Magazine (Photo by Martina Scorcucchi)

Hensler’s white leather neck piece created for ‘Futura’ editorial, Bullett Magazine (Photo by Martina Scorcucchi)

Jenni Hensler is convinced most people have no idea who she is, but if you’ve been paying attention to popular music in the last few years, you’ve definitely seen her work. The stylist and art director’s hand is immediately recognizable in the witchy, borderline-spiritual looks of Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe that seem to draw inspiration from the occult, fetish wear, and fantasy. But a new project could bring her out into the light as an artist in her own right.

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Candle-Lit Altars and Cunnilingus On Display at This All-Female Punk Art Exhibition

Jennifer Calandra in front of her altar (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Jennifer Calandra in front of her altar (Photo: Nicole Disser)

On Wednesday night the Living Gallery in Bushwick was abuzz with punk kids and curious passersby who had stepped inside to soak up the atmosphere of Collective Delusion / Mass Hysteria, a new all-female art exhibition. “Pretty much everyone is involved in the punk or noise scene in some way,” Jennifer Calandra, who curated the event, explained of the participating artists. “They’re mostly ladies I know from the scene here and from going to shows in different states.” The exhibition arrived just in time for the annual punk fest, New York’s Alright, which kicked off last night with shows at the Acheron and Tender Trap and continues throughout the weekend.

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Art Openings: Twisted Fairy Tales, Drug Tourists and More

Time again for our weekly roundup of what’s new on the art scene.

Rosebud Berlewi

Art by Brice Brown

Buccaneer, Masquerade, Suspence, Abundance, Thorn, Champion. Recent works by Brice Brown
April 17 (opening reception 7-9pm) to May 23 at Air Circulation, 160 Randolph St., Bushwick.
Kentucky-born artist Brice Brown created a multi-part installation meant to present a fragmented experienece of the still life genre as a way to explore “the dichotomous impulses inherent in the act of domestication: containment and freedom; restraint and release; a need for chaos and a need for order,” per the artist’s statement.  The installation, largely consisting of archival pigment prints, wallpaper design and soft sculpture, draws from The Batsford Colour Book of Roses (1962) and pages from an early 20th century fruit and seed catalog. References to the letterhead design of constructivist-influenced masters such as Piet Zwart are embedded in the pieces.

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This Electro Installation Will Be a ‘Futuristic-Psychedelic Version of the Past’

MetaphysCopsYesterday we stopped by D & F Contemporary, a new gallery located in a former discount lingerie store at the corner of Delancey and Orchard, to chat with Don Devore of New York hardcore band Sick Feeling. He’d been at the gallery for the past 30 hours, creating an immersive, one-night-only installation to coincide with the release of “Metaphysical Cops,” the new single and music video by his electro project Collapsing Scenery.

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