The gentle drumming sound of rainfall is one that many of us find soothing, but it is a natural phenomena that we can only experience at a safe distance without suffering the consequence of being drenched. With their one-of-a-kind installation, Rain Room, the designers at rAndom international made what you thought was impossible possible—presenting anyone who is curious for a new sensation with the opportunity to fully experience standing unprotected in the rain without ever getting wet.
Gutai: Splendid Playground
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York
Through May 8
“Don’t imitate others!” and “Engage in the newness!” are just two of the signature slogans of the Gutai Art Association, founded in July 1954 by Jiro Yoshihara. The Gutai—which translates to “concreteness”—artists dared to breakthrough the boundaries presented by traditional Japanese art. As their name suggests, the artists directly engaged with concrete materials (such as remote-control toys, sand, light bulbs, and paper screens) to create a new, never before seen, kind of art. The creative genius of these avant-garde artists manifested itself in the form of various mediums including, but not limited to, painting, installation and performance art, experimental film, and environmental art. Gutai: Splendid Playground explores the works of these artists, created over a span of two-decades, and features an enormous installation by Motonaga Sadamasa composed of a series of plastic tubes filled with colored water. The structure, created specifically for the Guggenheim’s rotunda, invites visitors to look up and use these “brush strokes” to create their own individual composition.
Through April 28
Jon Kessler’s The Web, currently on view at the Swiss Institute through April 28, is an immersive array of monitors, enlarged MacBooks, cameras, mechanical and animatronic sculptures—the latter of the artist himself—set to a sound track of the eponymous Apple computer chime. Enabled through mobile technology, the environment plugs you into a closed-circuit feedback loop. You download an iPhone app that allows you to feed your experience of the installation into the system as your movements are also simultaneously tracked, captured, and fed into the system. Cleverly re-staging Jean Tinguely’s self destructive drawing machine for the digital age, you are only image. Caught in this web, you are broadcast at those moments when you think you are most in control. You appear only to disappear and then to reappear somewhere else again, and again. You have your images, but The Web has you.
At 7pm, Saturday, April 28 at the Swiss Institute, Jon Kessler will hold a press conference/performance announcing the launch of his latest business enterprise, GlblVlgIdiot, devoted to the creation of iPhone apps similar to The Web that “bridge the gap between life and art.” Click here for reservations.
At War With The Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Howard Gilman Gallery 852
Through July 28
William Eggleston, one of the first American photographers to experiment with modern color photography in the 1960s, is known for his ability to capture the essence of southern life through photographs of ordinary people, scenes of everyday life, and commonplace objects, such as a child’s tricycle or a sign reading “Peaches!” set against the backdrop of a cerulean blue sky. Eggleston produced much of his color photography with a dye transfer printmaking process, a technique that was previously used solely for commercial and advertising purposes, and established it as a prominent artistic medium in the American tradition. The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, At War With the Obvious, celebrates Eggleston’s work by presenting together for the first time thirty-six dye transfer prints he created in the 1970s. It also features his first portfolio of color photographs, fifteen prints from his landmark book, and seven other of his most recognized photographs.
As the chorus of criticism swells against MoMA’s plan to demolish the former home of the American Folk Art Museum, designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, a pair of petitions have been posted urging the Modern to reconsider its demolition plans. Also, a crowd-sourced tumblr, #FolkMoMA, is soliciting ideas for reuse of Williams and Tsien’s building. With all the action online, will anyone be taking to the streets for some old fashioned picketing? Will anyone chain themselves to the bronze facade? Has all this worry actually left the bubble of the architecture community?
A couple weeks ago, we took a look at the trippy designs of the newly unveiled observation deck for Lower Manhattan’s One World Trade tower, rapidly adding to its antenna that will take the building to 1,776 feet. But while those renderings were long on the multimedia-rich halls that will presumably be filled with long lines waiting to get to the top, the big unveil was a bit short on the actual view. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has corrected that, however, posting a new photo taken from the very top of the tower, and we’re not disappointed. Note that Cass Gilbert’s 1913 Woolworth Building, appearing as just another tower in the center of the photo, was once the world’s tallest until 1930. See you in line for the view in person!
New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has completed blasting through bedrock far below Grand Central Terminal for the East Side Access Tunnels that will connect the station with Sunnyside, Queens. As part of the announcement, one of the last production blasts from late March has debuted on YouTube. The video above reveals what has been transpiring beneath the streets of Manhattan during the tunneling process, and the sight is rather impressive. A camera caught the final blast that made way for a massive cavern. So far 2,424 production blasts have occurred below the commuter rail terminal station, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. For this explosion, sandhogs drilled more than 200 blast holes and loaded them with over 300 pounds of powder to guarantee a powerful explosion that could rival any action movie’s special effects.
For an authentic tour of Manhattan, try following a map of love and hate, bizarre relationships, or perhaps even lost gloves. Author Becky Cooper brings a collaborative art project that has inspired many New Yorkers to share their varied emotions about the city. Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps is the book featuring 75 maps filled in by strangers, hopeless romantics, and street vendors, among others.
To celebrate the publication of Mapping Manhattan, CultureNOW is hosting an event to benefit Summer 2013 Internship Programs on Monday, April 15 from 6:00-8:00pm at architecture firm Snøhetta’s offices.
What do you do if a building is slated for demolition? If you’re the artist Doug Aitken and the building is your gallery, you devise a “time-based destruction installation.” Which is precisely what Aitken, who is known for wrapping the facade of the Hirschhorn Museum in with a 360-degree video installation to the tune of “I Only Have Eyes For You,” installing a video “land art” installation on the Seattle Art Museum, and the video “Sleepwalkers” projected on the facades of MoMA, “a cinematic art experience that directly integrates with the architectural fabric of the city while simultaneously enhancing and challenging viewers’ perceptions of public space” did.
Rem Koolhaas and OMA may have grander commissions and more famous clients (Miuccia Prada?), but probably not a more devoted and long lasting partnership than with David Maupin of the Lehmann Maupin Gallery. The gallerist first commissioned Koolhaas to design a new exhibition space on Manhattan’s Greene Street in 1995 and again when they moved to 26th Street in Chelsea ten years later (there is non-OMA-designed Lehmann Maupin on the Lower East Side). Now the Lehmann Maupin Gallery has asked OMA to design a third gallery, this time in Hong Kong.