Today FIGMENT NYC, “a forum for the creation and display of participatory and interactive art by emerging artists across disciplines,” kicked off on Governors Island. Watch the video about to get a taste of the installations, performances, workshops, games and activities taking place throughout the weekend (June 12-13, 10am-6pm). While you’re on the island, be sure to check out the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center in Building 110, a former munitions warehouse on the northern shore that is the summer studio for 24 artists and 4 performing groups. Flavorwire has some recent photos of the space, but be sure to drop by throughout the summer to see the artists and their works-in-progress.
As you enjoy the ferry ride to Governors Island, you might wonder why there aren’t more ferries in New York’s waterways. New York Times City Critic Ariel Kaminer asks that very question as the Economic Development Corporation and the Department of City Planning study our waterways’ potential for public transportation, waterfront revitalization and emergency evacuation planning. Meanwhile, Omnibus contributor Steven Dale, who encouraged us to see the transportation potential in our skyways, spotlights the successful integration of cable-propelled transit into the transportation systems of cities across South America, a trend Dale says is gaining momentum around the world.
We’ve touched on the potential powers of oysters in cleaning up our aquatic ecosystems in the past, but it looks as if Fabien Cousteau has started the process here in New York. Cousteau, deep-sea explorer, documentary filmmaker and grandson of Jacques, has turned his attention to New York in efforts to help restore the Hudson River with his non-profit group Plant a Fish. In conjunction with the Urban Assembly New Harbor School, a public high school in Bushwick that focuses on New York’s waterways and will have a new facility on Governors Island this fall, Cousteau and students planted 130,000 oysters in New York Harbor on Monday. Over the next several years Cousteau hopes to plant over one billion oysters in the Hudson and East Rivers. Just don’t tell New Jersey — DEP officials there have halted oyster bed restoration projects due to fears of poachers selling the not-for-consumption oysters commercially.
In policy news, two bills have been getting attention this week. New York Senator Chuck Schumer is co-sponsoring the Public Transportation Preservation Act, which would authorize $2 billion in emergency funding to prevent job and service cuts and fare hikes. Meanwhile Buffalo Assemblyman Sam Hoyt is spearheading the smart growth bill in state legislature, which would promote state spending in areas that have already been developed instead of allowing for the continual sprawl of communities — an issue, as Streetsblog points out, that New York City residents should pay attention to. Increased infrastructural growth in urban and suburban areas in the rest of the state is heavily subsidized and therefore affects all New York taxpayers.
David Byrne wears many hats — artist, cycling advocate, writer — but is probably best known for his music. As that career grew, and his performance venues grew in stature and size, he noticed how his sound changed with the architecture. In his TED Talk (video below) he discusses how music and venue often have perfect matches, and how such variations have helped push boundaries.
Last but certainly not least, the 2010 FIFA World Cup has begun and the attention of millions will be fixed on the events in South Africa for the next month. The City Fix and The Infrastructurist both take a look at the billions of dollars South Africa invested in infrastructure upgrades to prepare for the event. We know where we’ll be tomorrow afternoon, but if you’re not sure when to catch your game of choice, consult this nifty interactive calendar for help.
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The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.