BMW Guggenheim Lab- is there an actual purpose to this or is it a cunning viral scheme to entice a new generation of rich hipsters to German luxury cars?
With the building designed by Tsukamoto, the co-principal of Atelier Bow-Wow, the eclectic programming is “part social experiment, part conceptual art installation and part quixotic entertainment”. Hmmmm.
See below for Tamara Warren’s spiel-
The BMW Guggenheim Lab opens on the bustling corner of Houston and 2nd Ave in New York City this week. The previously unused city-owned lot has been transformed into a dynamic 2000 square-foot mobile think tank by design architect Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, and will offer free public programs exploring social issues, mobility and urban life in the East Village.
On a sunny Tuesday morning, city officials, a BMW board member and the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum elaborated on the details of the ambitious cultural endeavor for a group of international media, who huddled in the open air structure sipping on sweet ice coffee from the adjoining pop-up version of Brooklyn-based Roberta’s.The leftover tags on the walls and the sounds of honking taxis added lively downtown New York charm to the back drop.
Tsukamoto, co-principal of Atelier Bow-Wow, explained the detailed plans of her carbon fiber structure, and a dynamic group of five young curators laid out a dizzying schedule that includes over 100 events in the next two months.
The eclectic programming is part social experiment, part conceptual art installation and part quixotic entertainment. Visitors can play Local Projects’ Urbanology, a roll-playing game broaching issues of education, housing, health care, sustainability, infrastructure, which was designed by ZUS.
The collapsable space will host a range of thinkers, doers and architects for public talks including Elizabeth Diller founding principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, David Simon creator of The Wire and Treme and Chef Gabrielle Hamilton, the proprietor of Prune.
On the fringes, artists and scientists will conduct off-site experiments that will explore the brain and socialization in urban locales. The documentary “Blank City” by Celine Danhier, “Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell” and Charlie Ahearn’s “Hip-Hop Short Films” are a few of the films scheduled to screen on a bi-weekly basis at the space.
It’s an intellectual, campy and ethereal vision articulated by curators David van der Leer and Maria Nicanor, with a distinct flavor from Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Guggenheim museum structure uptown. Expect long lines to behold this plethora of public art stimulation. Free is a magic word in Manhattan.
New York is the first city in the project’s six year initiative. The BMW Guggenheim Lab will also travel to Berlin’s ANCB Metropolitan Laboratory in Pfefferberg, and to Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai. The nature of the conversation will change under interpretation of curators in those cities. In 2013, the Guggenheim Museum will present an exhibition of the cultural findings. No one knows exactly what the end result will look like. “It’s important to be patient,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.
The project has very loosely boundaries dictated by the urbane nature of the environment.”We’re surrounded by traffic and a little greenery,” Armstrong said. “It was an amorphous conversation at the beginning.”
For BMW, the project is a departure into undefined territory. There were no fleet of BMWs idling outside of the opening or overt efforts to brand the event for customers at the press launch. “This is open dialogue,” said Harald Krüger, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, who is responsible for cultivating cultural initiatives from the Munich headquarters. “We are looking at the future topics of life in urban cities. Future solutions are a joint solution with different partners. To understand what’s important for future mobility, it’s a platform. I’m curious what will be the outcome.”
The BMW Guggenheim Lab is open through Oct. 16, before packing up for Berlin in 2012.