Arts+ Culture

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The Knitting Factor: New Documentary Weaves a Tale of Yarn Artists

Olek's Yarn People (Photo: courtesy of Matt Hirsch)

Olek’s Yarn People (Photo: courtesy of BOND/360)

At what point does something stop being beautiful once it becomes functional? Can something you use every day be made into art? Does art need to hang in a gallery to be recognized? And, perhaps the biggest question of all, how much can sheep really contribute to the fine arts?

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These Guys Installed a FREE COFFEE Sign Over a Starbucks to ‘Keep Williamsburg Weird’

The 65 Ainslie Street apartment "FREE COFFEE" sign from Union Ave. (Photo courtesy @chuckorcharlie)

The 65 Ainslie Street apartment “FREE COFFEE” sign from Union Ave. (Photo courtesy @chuckorcharlie)

Back in February, we noticed a FREE COFFEE sign hovering a few stories above the controversial Starbucks on Union Avenue and wondered if it was an olive branch to neighbors who were rankled by the corporate interloper’s bid for a liquor license. But a barista at the Starbucks told us there were no free Frappuccinos to be had, and it quickly became apparent that the glowing sign was either an art installation, an epic prank, or both. Curious to find out, we slipped a note under the door of one of the building’s top-floor apartments, requesting a word with the sign maker. 

Last week, we finally got a text: “This is the guy behind the free coffee sign.”

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International Center of Photography Reveals New Museum on the Bowery

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

With your smartphone at your fingertips, these days its easy to mistake Instagram and Facebook for the ultimate arbiters of visual taste. But the International Center of Photography begs to differ. On Thursday they open their brand new museum on the Bowery, with an inaugural exhibition making the case for considered curation and historical perspective to broaden the conversation around images and their impact.

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Photos: Sea Creatures and See-and-Be-Seen Creatures at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Queen Mermaid Hailey Clauson and King Neptune Carlo A. Scissura. (Photo: Karissa Gall)

Queen Mermaid Hailey Clauson and King Neptune Carlo A. Scissura. (Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Netflix and Krill. (Photo: Karissa Gall)

Netflix and Krill. (Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2016

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Coney Island was all aglitter Saturday as the 34th annual Mermaid Parade rolled down Surf Avenue and the boardwalk. Amidst the usual semi-naked sirens, less-than-sober pirates and other fishy types (#Netflixandkrill), some paid tribute to the late David Bowie, others honored the victims of last week’s shooting in Orlando, and plenty celebrated Pride early. Click through our photos to have a look at the colorful mix of beauty, activism and buffoonery.

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Bicycle Film Fest Mixes Blonde Redhead, Erykah Badu, and Some Ovarian Psycos

Still from Ovarian Psycos (Photo: Courtesy of Bicycle Film Festival)

Still from Ovarian Psycos (Photo: Courtesy of Bicycle Film Festival)

In this town, cycling isn’t just a convenient method of getting from A to B: it’s a lifestyle. And with biking season and film festival season in full swing, the Bicycle Film Festival is back for its 16th year at the Anthology Film Archives.

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Hundreds Line Up in Bushwick to Say: ‘Fuck Rape Culture’

(Photo: Karissa Gall)

Hundreds lined up for GRLCVLT’s Fuck Rape Culture event Wednesday night. (Photo: Karissa Gall)

Yesterday, on the same day that the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office revealed that Judge Aaron Persky was removed from a new sex assault case at the request of prosecutors, over 700 letters petitioning for him to be permanently unseated were signed at a “Fuck Rape Culture” party in Bushwick. GRLCVLT’s event at Holyrad Studio drew women and men dissatisfied with the lenient, 89-day county jail sentence Persky handed down for the sexual abuse committed by Stanford student Brock Turner. The response was overwhelming not only because hundreds signed their letters while lined up outside of the packed, 150-capacity studio, but also because of the sheer emotion as women shared their personal stories of sexual assault, and called for an end to the abuse and injustice.

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Unlocking the Truth About the Teen Metal Band’s New Album & Documentary

(Photo: Courtesy of Falco Ink)

(Photo: Courtesy of Falco Ink)

Since first gaining internet stardom as a precocious metal trio, Brooklyn’s Unlocking the Truth has gone through seemingly every loop on the rollercoaster ride of fame. They’ve gone from playing for change outside the subway to booking major festivals; they’ve recorded and now re-recorded their debut album; and, most of all, they’ve dealt with miles upon miles of corporate red tape.

Now, after months of delays, the band’s first full-length album, Chaos, is finally coming out this Friday through indie music distributor Tunecore. (Watch the video for “Take Control” below.) Plus, Breaking a Monster, the documentary by Luke Meyer that we caught at SXSW, is set to premiere later this month. (There’ll be a preview screening at Museum of the Moving Image on June 21, followed by a performance by the band.)  Keep Reading »

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Trans-Pecos Founder Is Bringing Out-There Outdoor Shows to SculptureCenter

(Flyer via Sculpture Center)

(Flyer via Sculpture Center)

The Long Island City fine art scene is about to get a dose of DIY cred with Holding Space, a new three-part music series curated by Sam Hillmer (aka Diamond Terrifier) launching tomorrow at SculptureCenter. As the guy behind the scenes at Trans-Pecos (and co-founder along with Todd P), Hillmer will present his usual fare– a motley brew of various sounds stemming from eclectic tastes and experimental practices.

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Your Guide to This Summer’s Outdoor Film Series

(Photo: Courtesy of N. Charles, via Films on the Green)

(Photo: Courtesy of N. Charles, via Films on the Green)

Sitting outside on a balmy summer night and watching one of your favorite films with the Manhattan skyline in the background almost makes the stinking mounds of cooking garbage on the street and the hellish temperatures in subways stations worth it. With that in mind, here are some of the best upcoming outdoor film series this city has to offer. Best of all: Most of these are free!

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Want to Protest the Stanford Rape Case Judge? Well, Join the Party

(Photo: Courtesy of GRLCVLT)

(Photo: Courtesy of GRLCVLT)

At this point, everyone and their mother has heard of the Stanford rape case. Your Facebook and Twitter feeds are probably inundated with reprints of the victim’s statements to her assailant, the vile letter Brock Turner’s father wrote defending his son’s “20 minutes of action,” complaints about the presiding judge’s mishandling of the case, and the numerous think pieces on rape culture and white male privilege. It’s an important but depressing subject, and it can make a bystander feel rather helpless.

So what’s a socially conscious individual to do? If you’re self-described “female secret society” GRLCVLT, you invite everyone to an open-bar blowout at Holyrad Studio in East Williamsburg, featuring live performances by local act Edith Pop and comedian Lane Moore’s band It Was Romance. Throw in a letter-writing campaign to unseat Judge Aaron Persky, and it sounds like your typical Wednesday night, right?

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