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Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Peek at "-Ism"

Earlier this afternoon I got a peek at the setup for The Architectural League's (sold out) Beaux Arts Ball at the 69th Regiment Armory, at 25th and Lexington. The party's theme is "-ism," which picks up on the fact that this year is the 100th anniversary of the influential 1913 Armory Show.

Situ Studio (who graciously gave me a peek) is responsible for the environmental design (as well as the fabrication), but the party will be an immersive multimedia experience, with a lighting installation by Renfro Design Group, a performance installation by Processional Arts Workshop (PAW), a sound installation by Nathan Halpern (with Mary Lattimore and Chris Ruggiero), and a DJ set from Jon Santos.

Situ Studio's design consists of lightweight vapor barriers forming diamond-like objects that seem to hover within the armory's grand drill hall. The triangular white panels are actually hung from existing cables that span from one side of the hall to the other; only some 10-foot sections of conduit piping and plastic ties accompany the recycled panels, which will be donated to PAW for future performances (more on PAW's contribution below).

Those lucky enough to snag tickets to the sold-out party will experience something much richer than what I was able to capture in my brief visit. The white surfaces will be canvases for light and color (including projected paintings from the 1913 Armory Show), creating micro-environments within the grand hall. Sound will add another layer of spatial definition, and PAW's puppeteers will don huge mylar suits (a couple pictured below) and roam about the hall, provoking revelers and becoming another canvas for the light show.

Next week I'll post some photos from the party, showing how everything came together.

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