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3 Ways to Lend a Small but Helping Hand to those Impacted by Oakland Fire

Fire that killed dozens of people trapped inside the Ghost Ship, a DIY art space in Oakland December 3 2016 (Photo: Julianna Brown, via Wikipedia Commons, Flickr)

Fire that killed dozens of people trapped inside the Ghost Ship, a DIY art space in Oakland December 3 2016 (Photo: Julianna Brown, via Wikipedia Commons, Flickr)

Whenever someone compares Brooklyn to Oakland, an angel loses its wings, and is sent plunging straight down to hell where the sexless being is reborn as an enormous phallus– imagine, like, a hedge fund manager or,  in some cases, a real-estate developer.

That’s because the observation usually has to do with the proximity of a relatively much more prosperous place like Manhattan or San Fransisco (actually those are mostly just super fancy places no matter how you slice it) and based on dumb facts like that you can take a train between the two (the BART, the MTA respectively). Oh, and there’s also that whole gentrification thing– like parts of Brooklyn, Oakland has been declared fabulously “up-and-coming” (barf).

The truth is that, aside from stupid comparisons like these–usually found in real-estate ads, or grunted between high-five’ing bros–Oakland and our beloved borough actually do have some real stuff in common.

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Secret Project Robot Will Return, Rewind Time to When ‘All Parties Used to Be Art Parties’

(Via Secret Project Robot Art Experiment/ Facebook)

(Via Secret Project Robot Art Experiment/ Facebook)

No matter how much you love your favorite DIY venue, there’s no sense in getting too attached– as anyone who’s been in the game for a while will tell you. But having lost seemingly countless art caverns and show spaces in the last year, we’ve reached a certain moment where posi vibes and healthy acceptance of the city’s natural ebb and flow, suddenly feel less like rational bits of wisdom and more like things we say to make ourselves feel better because everything is terrible right now.

Whether by force of landlord, party police, or unnatural disaster, we’ve lost some of the greats– Palisades is gone (for good), Market Hotel (indefinitely, save for some vegan markets here and there) maybe too, and Secret Project Robot went away as well. Since the beginning, the duo behind the latter, Rachel Nelson and Erik Zajaceskowski, have vowed to return in one form or another, and now good things are finally happening. “Secret Project Robot just signed a new lease!!” they announced on social media last week. “the art zombie rises!!!”

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Join a Community Arts Dialogue, See Queer Latinx Art, and More Before the Clock Strikes 2017

(Photo: Natalie Rinn)

Art Start Up!
Tuesday, December 27, 7 pm to 10 pm at Theater for the New City, RSVP by Email info@theaterforthenewcity.net to RSVP

This Tuesday, one of the last independent East Village art spaces still hangin’ on, Theater for the New City, will welcome a group of artists as well as an array community organizations to engage in a conversation about the East Village and Lower East Side arts scene. There’s a lot to survey: the current state of things, what’s missing, what improvements should be made to best suit the community the arts (hopefully) serve, and economic barriers that may be in place. That last one is sure to be a long conversation.

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Was this Performance Art Show Calling Out Hate Groups Too Real?

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

The results of the election have churned up a tsunami of cultural backlash aimed at the incoming Trump administration’s rhetoric of hatred and intolerance (or, in at least one case, in support of it). There’s a lot of doom and gloom right now– hate crimes are on the rise as our new political era continues to take shape with increasingly horrifying cabinet appointments, from a conspiracy theory-touting Islamophobe as Secretary of Defense to a Department of Energy head who once called for the agency’s abolishment– even so, artists and cultural figures have banded together to express their dismay.

Some, like the Instagram campaign and public protest #DearIvanka, have infused political action with artsy weirdness, while others have just continued making the art they always have, the only difference being that the injustices they’re concerned with– the patriarchy, white supremacy, xenophobia– have seen something of a comeback as some Americans are once again proud to wear their prejudices on their sleeves (or Twitter feeds).

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BRUJAS Gather Around a Caldron of ‘Tricky, Politically-Incorrect Ideas’

Herbal Workshop with Antonia Perez, Installation shot (image courtesy of Recess)

Herbal Workshop with Antonia Perez, Installation shot (image courtesy of Recess)

On a chilly but pleasant afternoon, a group of people sat at tables in Soho art space Recess, poring over strips of film. One person scratches designs onto a strip, another adds metallic star-shaped stickers. Croatia-born artist Željka Blakšić, who also uses the name Gita Blak, has been conducting what she calls a “direct filmmaking workshop.” In it, 16mm film strips are directly altered through the use of collage, drawing, scratching, and other tactics. Each person’s customized film strip is individual, but soon they will all be assembled into one motley creation, fed into a projector, and screened for all its creators to behold.

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‘Here’s to Cyborgs!’ 10 Things We Learned at Rhizome + New Museum’s Tech Summit

(image via New Museum)

(image via New Museum)

Last Saturday, several groups of artists, scholars, entrepreneurs, writers, and more gathered in the basement of the New Museum for the second annual Open Score symposium, where they delved into topics like artificial intelligence, how memes relate to blackness, and ways the internet can create social infrastructures. The afternoon was co-presented by Rhizome, a contemporary arts organization centered on intersections of art and technology.

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Wake Up and Smell the Poppins at Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious_inviteL copyTackling the topic of feminism is a monumental task for any art exhibition, let alone one that fits inside a downtown art space called White Box–which you already know, or maybe just guessed, is not all that enormous. Even if the curator had the MoMA to herself, a show like this would require some epic planning. And from the viewer’s perspective? Yeah right. Seeing everything in one go would be require an Odyssean attention span which, let’s be real, just doesn’t exist anymore.

So when curator Lara Pan was commissioned by the non-profit art space White Box to put together a show “about women,” she and her co-curator Ruben Natal-San Miguel came up with Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (on view through January 21), a 27-piece show that fits neatly within a realm of feminism she knows well. She may have felt compelled to whittle down the larger theme, but she managed to keep the feeling of an epic, history-sweeping, time-spanning, half-the-human-race, cross-culturally inclusive narrative. At the same time, the show defies what we’ve come to expect from women’s art exhibitions: those one-note, temporary deviations from the default (i.e. white men) that are plagued by tokenism, tiptoeing, stale themes, and work that’s about as revolutionary as a closet full of pantsuits.

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Fall Into a ‘Chasm’ of Art, DJs, and Music at This East Williamsburg Festival

(image courtesy of Julia Sinelnikova)

(image courtesy of Julia Sinelnikova)

Tonight, a chasm of art opens up in East Williamsburg. More specifically, tonight marks the beginning of CHASM, a four-day late-night multimedia/nightlife/performance/music event, showcasing some of the most groundbreaking artists working in the Brooklyn scene today. The experience is curated by Julia Sinelnikova, a multimedia artist who often creates under the name The Oracle and is drawn to the usage and interactions of light in her work, whether it be through curation or creation. Keep Reading »

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Skin-Like Sculptures, ‘Apocalyptic Trophies,’ and Other Art Events

(photo via Brandon Perdomo / Facebook)

(photo via Brandon Perdomo / Facebook)

MVMT: a solo exhibition by Brandon Perdomo
Opening Monday December 5 at The Living Gallery, 7 pm to 10:30 pm. One night only. 

Multidisciplinary artist Brandon Perdomo presents a one-night-only exhibition, which includes photography and performance work. Though this is a solo exhibition, he has enlisted the help of two performances to fill the night: at 8 pm, Another Lopez, who is the subject of a photo series by Perdomo, will perform a live dance installation piece and at 8:30 pm the silly, catchy, trash-loving band Pinc Louds will be leaving their home base of the NYC subway underground to play a colorful set. There is an $8 suggested donation, vegan dumplings may make an appearance, and BYOB is welcome.

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An Art Show Where Queer Bodies are Phantasmagoric, Vanishing, and Void

(Flyer via Osman Can Yerebakan)

(Flyer via Osman Can Yerebakan)

Queer-themed art shows are having a moment right now, and we can only expect that trend to continue as we enter a time of uncertainty about the future of LGBTQ rights in this country (and those of all marginalized people, really). An ongoing exhibition called Like Smoke (on view through December 4 at the New York Artists Equity Association on the Lower East Side) feels so right-now in that way. The show mines gay history and examines the ways in which oppression, both past and persistent, still creep into the present. Though it examines the queer body, you won’t see any actual bodies on display. Instead there’s a great gaping black hole, phantoms from the past, and a lingering sense of absence.

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Art World Protest Is an ‘Open Letter’ to Ivanka Trump: ‘We Need to Talk to You About Dad’

(Image via Instagram: @dear_ivanka)

(Image via Instagram: @dear_ivanka)

Last week, a mysterious Instagram account began posting photos of Ivanka Trump looking her usual perfect self, primped, stilettoed, and precisely preened to sexy-career-girl perfection. If you were scrolling too quickly, you might have mistaken @dear_ivanka for a fan account, with over 7,5oo followers. But it was actually the first satirical social media action of Halt Action Group, a grassroots protest organization that’s appealing to Ivanka as the Trump administration’s “voice of reason.”

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Week in Art: Black Women Artists for BLM, Weaponized Art, and a ‘Gallery Intervention’

(image via The Kitchen)

(image via The Kitchen)

Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter: Holiday Screening & Reception
Monday, November 28 at The Kitchen, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Sondra Perry: Resident Evil on view through December 10.

Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter, aka BWA for BLM, is a fairly self-explanatory “collective force underground” group formed in July 2016 in response to the continual systemic violence perpetuated against black bodies in America. This evening, the group is taking over experimental performance and art space The Kitchen to show a series of videos, both archives of past performances the group has done and videos created by members of the group, all while beats by DJ LotusMoon infiltrate your ears.

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