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Coming Up: Nacho Cheese in a Chocolate Fountain and 3 Other Things in Unexpected Places

Sometimes it can get a little old going to the same bars, galleries, shows, knowing the kind of stuff you’ll see there. So, shake it up with…

A live band at karaoke:

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

(image via Be Yourself / Facebook)

Be Yourself Karaoke!
Saturday, July 30 at Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side. Doors at 8pm, music at 9pm. $10. More info here.
Karaoke is always a fun choice (I’m aware many would disagree) but karaoke backing tracks can often be in weird keys and sound like an early 2000s MIDI version of the song you actually wanted to sing. That’s all about to change with Be Yourself Karaoke, a live band that specifically plays ’90s/early 2000s emo and pop-punk songs with audience members as the lead singer. The setlist of songs to choose from is much less overwhelming than those huge karaoke binders and includes hits from Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Good Charlotte, and more. Yes, that means you too can relive that dream of bopping around your bedroom yelling to MCR while wearing too much eyeliner, only this time you’ll have a microphone and a stage.

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After Seven Years, a Magical Series of City Walks Hangs Up Its Laces

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

This Is My Worst Nightmare by Becca Blackwell (photo: Eric McNatt)

In the city, or in any city, streets aren’t just streets, and building aren’t just buildings. There are histories stacked on top of each other, whether they be literal populations and businesses that come and go or more personal, emotional histories. A park or a street corner is going to mean something different to everyone.

For the past few years, Elastic City has striven to crystalize this feeling into something more tangible with its series of free artist-led participatory walks in New York City and beyond. These walks take small groups (usually 12 or less) on fictional, historical, emotional journeys, such as a reenactment of coming-of-age moments that occurred at the height of the West Village’s dyke bar culture, a singalong Annie tour, or renaming and imagining a neighborhood where immigrants are celebrated. Artists like scenic designer Mimi Lien (a winner of the MacArthur “Genius Grant”), performance artist Karen Finley, activist and urbanist Nisan Haymian, among many others, have created and led walks for the series.

Today, Elastic City will wrap up their walk series for good. I chatted with Elastic City founder Todd Shalom and his longtime collaborator (and Elastic City’s Associate Artistic Director) Niegel Smith in the time they had in between conducting walks. Today, for the last several times, they’ll lead the walk they’ve created together that will serve as a finale for the series. It’s called, fittingly, The Last Walk, and takes place in Prospect Park, beginning at Grand Army Plaza.

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Week in Shows: Noise-Techno Hybrids Inducing Aural Nerve Destruction + Ice Cold R&B

(Image via Issue Project Room/ Pioneer Works)

(Image via Issue Project Room/ Pioneer Works)

Daniel Menche, Container, MV Carbon, Eartheater, Greg Fox, Ben Vida, Horse Lords, Profligate
Saturday, July 30, 5 pm at Pioneer Works: $20.
“A $20 show?” you’re probably saying doubtfully. “At Pioneer Verks no less?!” Well, yes, people– this superbly lined and fine-art surrounded setting might be an affair that’s just a tiny– ok, huge– step up from your usual scum-dwelling listening experience and therefore cooking up some wallet anxiety in you, but stay with me for a moment. For an Issue Project Room affair especially, we’re talking about a steal right here. Maybe more convincing for money flinging is the lineup, which is damn close to overflowing and replete with some of the best artists out there right now doing danceable, shapely noise-techno, including Profligate, and Eartheater.

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Lifeforce Ditches Our Dystopian Present For a Post-Gender Cyborg Future

"Olympia" by Kelsey Bennett (Image courtesy of Kelsey Bennett)

“Olympia44” by Kelsey Bennett (Image courtesy of Kelsey Bennett)

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like everything on this place we call Planet Earth is terrible right now. Mostly because a bigoted, beady-eyed mop man partial to Valencia-orange spray tans has power boated, ass pinched, and butt picked his way to the Presidential contest. The whole charade is sort of starting to feel like the first few chapters of a sci-fi paperback– when the autocratic overlord is hurtling toward consolidating his dystopian reign, and you can’t believe that no one saw it coming.

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At The New Museum, The Keeper is a Haven for Historians, Hoarders, and Humanity

Yuji Agematsu (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Yuji Agematsu (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

We all have a little hoarder in us. Some more than others. Or maybe you have that weird friend who just won’t throw stuff away, and you wonder when someone is inevitably going to mistake his detritus for an art installation. Well, there’s now something for everyone at the New Museum. Its newest show, The Keeper, is an astounding assortment of collections amassed by artists, scholars, conspiracy theorists, survivors, weirdos, and everyday folk alike.

The show, which has over 4,000 objects spanning almost every floor of the museum, has the largest amount of items in the museum’s history. It’s a collection of collections, a hoard of hoards, a love letter to devotion. Similar to how many of the collections exhibited took years or decades to gather, curator Massimiliano Gioni has spent years on The Keeper; Lisa Phillips, the museum’s director, calls the show his “lifelong obsession.” Keep Reading »

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These Weekend Music And Art Fests Will Melt Your Face (If The Heat Doesn’t Do It First)

(photo via Out in the Streets)

(photo via Out in the Streets)

Brace yourself, it’s gonna be a hot one. With temperatures wavering in the ’90s this weekend, some people might not want to leave the sacred space of their air conditioning, despite how many of these very same people’s fashion choices reflect that they actually love the ’90s. But for those who want to be so occupied you forget about your melting and/or boiling flesh, here are four music and art festivals this weekend to spend your day and/or night at.

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Notorious East Village Landlord Uses Street Art to Paint a Prettier Picture

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Earlier this year, when the East Village’s beloved Stage Restaurant closed in the wake of a dispute with its landlord Icon Realty Management, Brooklyn-based artist Gilf! plastered the diner’s former home with caution tape reading “Gentrification in Progress.” It wasn’t the first time one of the company’s properties was the site of artistic protest: Karen Platt, a resident of an Icon-owned building on East 5th Street, has been known to chalk up the sidewalk with messages like “Enough Is Enough,” and over July 4th weekend, someone spray-painted a message on the sidewalk in front of the now for-rent Stage space that advised, “DO NOT RENT HERE. DO NOT BUY HERE. BOYCOTT IN EFFECT.”

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Another One Could Bite The Dust: IDIO Gallery Turns To Crowdfunding To Survive

screenshot of Montana Simone's GoFundMe page for Idio Gallery.

Screenshot of Montana Simone’s GoFundMe page for Idio Gallery.

There’s been many a Bushwick disappearance lately. Punk venue The Acheron recently said their goodbyes, acclaimed restaurant Northeast Kingdom put away their plates for good, and Palisades is closed until at least August. In nearby Williamsburg, the Experiment Comedy Gallery, DIY space for funnies, just had to relocate to a new spot that’s quite literally underground.

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Meriem Bennani’s FLY at PS1 Will Leave You Feeling Buzzed

Meriem Bennani's "FLY" at PS1 (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Meriem Bennani’s “FLY” at PS1 (Photo: Nicole Disser)

It was an unusually quiet day on a recent visit to PS1– so deserted that, weirdly, I felt like I could get better acquainted with the 19th-century elementary school portion of the building than ever before. Call me cray, but the artwork at MoMA’s edgier little sister began to feel straight-up rebellious against the throwback schoolish confines which, in turn, started to feel even more institutional. Now that I was alone, and making actual contact with doors and hallways instead of awkwardly rubbing all over my fellow museum-goers, I realized everything was just slightly undersized. And that obligatory museum hush was starting to feel so intense that I felt compelled to swallow my gum and adjust my bad posture (everyone knows a well-trained ear can actually hear you resting on your laurels).

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At Babycastles, Squinky Makes Video Games For The Awkward in Us All

(photo: Clement Shimizu)

(photo: Clement Shimizu)

As we’ve mentioned recently, DIY art and game space Babycastles has been working hard to offer alternatives to the often exclusionary world of video games, showcasing work by indie game designers and artists who reveal that yes, there can be more to video games than mindless shooting and the Mountain Dew-guzzling men who often play them.

The previous exhibit on view was Toronto-based Kara Stone’s The Mystical Digital, offering a witchy and introspective take on games, with selections like Techno Tarot, where a robot gives you a detailed tarot reading, and Cyclothymia, a narrative exploring connections between emotions and astrology.

Another Canada-based game designer and programmer, Mx. Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifier, has similar wishes to disrupt the tired norms in video games and video game culture. Rather than appealing to one’s inner mystic or the Bushwick dwellers who frequent places like Catland, Squinky’s games are more familiar to those who might stay in on a Friday night, presenting playable stories of awkward social interactions and small Claymation creatures of indistinct gender.

The Montreal-based artist’s second solo exhibition, Squinky Hates Video Games, is a compilation of work from the past three years in the form of ten different games, some of which were created during a stint at UC Santa Cruz’s Digital Arts and New Media MFA program. Squinky completed the program in 2015, and was recognized by Forbes that year as one of 30 Under 30 in Games.

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Get Consumed By A Death Womb at This Bushwick Art Show

(image courtesy of Club 157)

(image courtesy of Club 157)

Tonight, loft apartment turned art gallery Club 157 will be transformed into a tribute to the life of Mary of Cain.

Who’s that lady?, you ask.

Well, she’s the creation of multidisciplinary artist and model Jane Cogger, who birthed the character four years ago when she wanted to write more from a place of fiction, rather than autobiography.

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Secret Project Robot Says Goodbye Cruel World With ‘Rainbow Hugs and Kisses’

(Image via Secret Project Robot)

(Image via Secret Project Robot)

The name says it all– at Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, Secret Project Robot will start saying their goodbyes to the neighborhood they’ve called home for the last five years. On Wednesday, July 13 (7 pm to 10 pm) the DIY venue will open the final art show at its current location with festivities and hopefully some booty-shaking to coronate what the SPR community’s calling a “magical realm.”

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