Arts & Culture

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Siobhan O’Loughlin Turned Her Quarantine Crush Into an Online Interactive Hit

(Photo: Brendan Leahy)

When New York’s stay-at-home order went into effect in March, Siobhan O’Loughlin immediately panicked. Since 2015, she had been touring around the world for her theater project Broken Bone Bathtub, which usually takes place inside of a bathroom in someone’s home for an audience of however many people can fit—usually, five to 12. How could an artist whose work hinged on such immersive experiences survive the age of Zoom? More →

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Suddenly, NYC Is a Drive-In Movie Mecca

(Photo: Rooftop Films)

When theaters went dark in March, film festivals quickly adapted by curating content online, but let’s face it, summer has come and you’re not about to watch a movie on your laptop, with a desk fan blasting torrents of sweat off your face. Luckily the organizers of the city’s great seasonal film festivals– including Tribeca Films, Rooftop Films, and the Greenpoint Film Festival– have risen to the occasion with pop-up drive-in movie theaters. More →

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Musicians and DJs Turn Up the Volume For BLM

Paperboy Love Prince at Occupy City Hall NYC in June. (Photo courtesy of @paperboytheprince).

Sabrina Chap had been avoiding protests in the city due to health concerns when she had a vision, mid-shower, of New Yorkers dancing simultaneously in their apartments to the music of Nina Simone. To the musician, it seemed like a workable alternative to traditional in-the-streets protest. 

When New York City set its historic curfew on June 1, she saw an opportunity. “I felt that they were trying to intimidate us inside and quell our voices,” Chap said, “and I was like, well, fuck that, let’s just turn up the volume in our homes.” So Chap created @audioprotest. More →

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Bike Ridership Continues to Rise During the Pandemic, Despite Road Blocks

Photo courtesy of Rafael Daher.

If there’s one thing Cris Matos doesn’t miss about her life before the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the way she moved throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The subway, Uber, and taxis used to be her religion. “Now, I can’t live without my bicycle,” said Matos. “I’m afraid to use the subway and I’m still concerned about getting inside a car with a driver I don’t know.” Whenever she needs to leave East Harlem, the first thing she does is plot bike lanes. More →

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People Are Decolonizing Their Bookshelves, But Will the Publishing Industry Follow Suit?

When Kalima DeSuze, founder of feminist bookstore Cafe Con Libros, opened her Instagram account days after the killing of George Floyd, she was shocked to see over 99 mentions. 

“I said, ‘What the hell is happening? What is going on?’” DeSuze remembers. “I realized that someone had sent the list out of books to read and someone then said invest your money in Black-owned business, Black-owned bookstores. My life has not been the same since.”

DeSuze’s “tsunami” of orders for books about race in America was a small reverberation felt across the bookselling and publishing industry in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. More →

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Arcade Project Pushes For ‘Real Change’ During the Art World’s Moment of Reckoning

M. Charlene Stevens (Photo: Ruben Natal-San Miguel)

As protests for racial justice continue, the art world has responded by featuring the work of black artists and exalting the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement on the art industry. Almost overnight, Twitter and Instagram has become flooded with lists of black galleries, black artists, and black musicians whose projects you can support. However, one black art dealer and critic, M. Charlene Stevens, remains suspicious. More →

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Remember the Democratic Debates? This Theater Group Thinks You Should

Katie Palmer and Paul Bedard, Feb. 2020 (Photo: Luana Harumi)

Between the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and civil unrest, it might be easy to forget that this is an election year, and the New York Democratic primary takes place Tuesday. If you need to refresh your memory with some of the events that lead to Joe Biden being the party’s last remaining presidential candidate, you can count on Theater In Asylum. Well, kind of. More →

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In Virtual Dungeons, Less Flogging and More Key-Logging

Charlotte Taillor. (Photo: Julia Assis)

I first met dominatrix Charlotte Taillor in February at her home in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, where her male submissives were curating pastry spreads and rolling her spliffs. While she usually sports a leather catsuit, this day she wore sweatpants and a t-shirt reading “sex worker rights are human rights.” 

Charlotte runs The Taillor Group, a feminist kink collective that encourages explorations of BDSM and other fetishes. The operation is entirely female-centric, comprised of about 30 dommes, and rather an anomaly in the world of kink; dominatrixes usually fly solo. “BDSM is the only way I’ve found for women to achieve the agency we’ve been striving for,” Charlotte told me confidently, before bellowing at one of her subs: “Roll me more spliffs!”  More →