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September 30, 2015
by jchristie
HarperCollins BookLabCourtesy Seaport Culture District
No Longer Empty's "Breathing Waters"Courtesy of Seaport Culture District
AIGA/NY Annex's "Looking, Thinking, Making in the City"Courtesy of Seaport Culture District
Center for Architecture at the Seaport with "Sea Level: Five Boroughs from Water's Edge"Credit: Josh Simpson

On the evening of Thursday, 09.17.15, over 2,000 people flooded the streets of the South Street Seaport to celebrate the inauguration of the Seaport Culture District.

From August to December 2015, the Seaport Culture District, sponsored by The Howard Hughes Corporation and directed by James Sanders, AIA, is transforming the historic upland blocks of the Seaport. By hosting an array of art and design exhibitions, installations, and public programs organized by eight premier cultural institutions, the district will revitalize previously empty storefronts, many of which were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The Center for Architecture’s space, located at 181 Front Street, was designed by Andrew Berman Architects and features the exhibition “Sea Level: Five Boroughs at Water’s Edge,” a panorama of the city from the East River spanning from Fort Wadsworth to Fort Totten photographed by Elizabeth Felicella and annotated by Robert Sullivan. During October, the location will also serve as Archtober Hall, one of the focal points of the month-long, citywide architecture and design festival. Many of Archtober’s 60 plus partners will host programs, talks, and lectures in the space. In addition, starting 10.23.15, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will exhibit an interactive, real-time visualization, Åzone Terminal.

The Center for Architecture is joined by a number of other organizations. The American Institute of Graphic Arts/NY Annex, designed by Alicia Cheng of MGMT and architect Greg Yang, presents “Looking, Thinking, Making in the City,” an exhibition exploring how designers are taking the lead in issues of growth, equity, resilience.

No Longer Empty’s activation, “Breathing Waters” by Miami-based artist Teresa Diehl, is an immersive video and sound installation inspired by the junction at which the Hudson and East Rivers merge. Floor-to-ceiling scrims of monofilament lines – receptacles and passages for multiple layers of projected and viewer-generated images – form a haunting, maze-like structure whose moving patterns of light, color, and sound shift continually in response to the presence of visitors.

Eyebeam, the non-profit urban artist colony, and R+D lab, occupy a gallery and workshop space hosting two exhibitions, “Making Patterns” and “Inside/Out.”Making Patterns” features advanced “computational fashion” projects at the intersection of digital technology and clothing design. “Outside/In,” the second, two-part exhibition, will present indoor/outdoor installations drawing upon the Seaport’s rich urban and maritime heritage and featuring work by three Eyebeam residents: Nancy Nowacek, Torkwase Dyson and Mattia Casalegno.

On Fulton Street, the HarperCollins BookLab space features an installation by artist Brian Dorman. The space will host public programs with influential figures, such as author and TV host Nigel Barker and InStyle founder Hal Rubenstein. HarperCollins celebrates its recent return to Seaport, where, nearly two centuries ago, the company began publishing.

In the heart of Cannon’s Walk, Art Start, a non-profit organization that uses arts to empower underserved youth, has collaborated with the design firm Arup to produce “Portrait Project,” an immersive, outdoor, light-and-sound installation that offers glimpses into the dreams and imaginations of homeless and marginalized teens.

Last but certainly not least, the Seaport Projection Gallery presents “Time & Tide: The New York Waterfront in Film, 1903- 2011,” by Sanders himself, a three-screen installation of a century of documentary films.

Integrating art, technology, and local history, the Seaport Culture District offers visitors a new take on the city’s unique maritime destination. Join us in celebrating the rich cultural legacy and renewed energy at the Seaport.

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