A Circus of Civic Creativity and Collective Action + a Dreamy Swimming Pool A Circus of Civic Creativity and Collective Action + a Dreamy Swimming Pool
The GOOD Life

A Circus of Civic Creativity and Collective Action + a Dreamy Swimming Pool

by Laura Feinstein

May 20, 2013

Highlighted projects ranged from an initiative to build a floating, water-filtering pool on NYC’s waterways (Everybody + POOL), to a building that runs on the sweat produced in its sauna, brought to fruition by The Canary Project. This was supplemented by information and awareness-heightening initiatives by venerated NYC institutions like the Abrons Arts Center and the Artists Alliance Inc., as well as newer groups like the Storefront for Art & Architecture, whose massive installation in Sara D. Roosevelt Park The Spacebuster “On Nothingness”—an inflatable mobile structure reminiscent of a large cocoon, captured the imagination (and cameras) of visitors both young and old.

Idealistic and community-oriented performance art, something that had felt on the wane till the medium received a massive boost from the visual antics of the Occupy Movement, was out in full affect, with artists using signs, body paint, and striking imagery to portray their message.

One of the featured participants in IDEAS City, Nuit Blanche (an organization that brings free nighttime contemporary art events to New York, and is now a global institution), launched a series of wildly popular happenings. Most notably, this included a video installation by prolific multi-media artist Marco Brambilla Creation (3D) at the Basilica of  St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. To accompany the artist’s luminous presentation, composer Christophe Cerrone created an immersive live score featuring performances by Guidonian Hand and Young New Yorkers’ Chorus.

Creation comes as part of a trilogy meant to “re-contextualize century old histories, using images culled from a vast archive of iconic Hollywood films. Meant to conjure a DNA helix, Brambilla took the viewer on a journey that began with the big bang and continued “through embryonic inception, idyllic, Eden-like bliss and decadence." 

In short, there was no short—this large and sprawling event managed to encapsulate an impressively large array of mediums, artists, and activities, all the while demonstrating just how much untapped creative capital this city really has.

Related: Capital Knowledge: IDEAS City Festival Touches Down in NYC

Images via the New Museum

Laura Feinstein More Info

Current Deputy Editor at GOOD, Laura Feinstein writes about the intersection where art, technology, and global culture meet. Former Editor in Chief at The Creators Project at VICE, and a freelance writer for such diverse publications as The Guardian, T/The New York Times, VICE International, BOMB Magazine, PSFK.com, Pitchfork/Nothing Major, and Details Magazine (among others), Laura is always on the lookout for the new and unboring.
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A Circus of Civic Creativity and Collective Action + a Dreamy Swimming Pool