Years ago, groundbreaking artist Jenny Holzer used massive areas open to the general populace, like the New York Public Library, to display her word art. Not only did she challenge the concept of public space, but she took blank facades and turned them into a canvas. In the vein of Holzer, New York-based artist and curatorial collective Nuit Blanche (design director Pepin Gelardi is part of the R29 family!)supports artists who use light, music, and urban space to unite art and technology in the public sphere. By teaming up with the forward-thinking New Museum for the Festival Of Ideas for the New City, Nuit Blanche is presenting Flash:Light, a totally unique, completely New York outdoor experience.
Set around the Lower East Side, on May 7th, Mulberry Street, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the face of the Museum will be transformed into a large-scale public art space. Kicking off with "Let Us Make Cake", the New Museum has tapped New York legends like Marilyn Minter and Vito Acconci to interact with a scaled representation of the museum—making it both the subject and the space of creation. Onlookers can swing by Bowery to see free light sculptures and projections that'll turn the street into a gallery, and then hit up St. Patrick's Cathedral, which has also been turned into a building-specific art installation, for a midnight organ program with 3D accompaniments. Not only is the entire thing free, but each artist participating in Flash:Light uses New York institutions as a space for artistic creation. Jenny Holzer was on to something, but these young influencers use sound, light, performance and sculpture to turn the Bowery (and New York itself) into a place for expression.
Flash:Light, Saturday May 7, 8 p.m.; The Bowery and New Museum, 235 Bowery (at Prince Street), 212-219-1222.