8 Standouts From The Architectural Digest Home Design Show

Eric Trine

Eric Trine

A premier source for architects, designers, and like-minded trendsetters, the 14th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show was the place to discover the ‘next big thing’ in furniture design. After pursuing the thousands of products from over 400 brands on view, the 2015 furniture forecast championed the handmade statement piece that will bring the room together and add a touch of individual charm to an existing sea of Ikea sets.

Handcrafted, local, and one-of-a-kind were buzzwords for every vendor located in the MADE section of the show, which celebrated independent designers and fine art objects. The material trending these up-and-coming boutiques is a classic revival of wood with a contemporary twist. Check out this list of 8 designers creating furniture that is both functional and fun.

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A play without players : Performa 13 and Gabriel Lester “Super-Sargasso Sea (phantom play #1)”

Gabriel Lester at Performa 13

Gabriel Lester at Performa 13

Theater without actors, a play without a plot, a cast only in absence, and action through inanimate light and sound.

Gabriel Lester’s “Super Sargasso-Sea (phantom play #1)” is theater distanced from life to expand its medium-specific conventions: a perverse theater perpetuating its own extinction, only to emerge again as a new “theaterless theater”. No remorse necessary, because Lester fills this actorless void with a sculptural set activated by light and sound.

Lester’s loose plot is printed in the playbill. During this 30-minute play, a scientist, his fiancee, their firstborn, a dog, and a cat together experience great misfortune: the young couple dies in successive fatal accidents, leaving their firstborn (named “Creature”) an orphan. Characters are represented in absence strictly through light and sound interacting on a sculptural stage. Viewers are given authority regarding the plot because without overt actors progressing the scenes through active dialogue, action is regarded on a completely individual level; all will experience this play in different ways because without hard-edged parameters, we have choices.

It is important for art to break through its own parameters. This is reflective of societal flux ever expanding in search of a perfect plateau. Once art is removed from assumptions it enters a space of unknown. To some, this expanse of possibilities is self-affirmative. However, not all want choice when it comes to engaging with entertainment. In the playbill Adam Kleinmen insightfully writes:

“Thinking is hard. The brain links inputs to ideas, but needs to do so quickly. If not, you’ll overload. Snap judgments follow preconceived notions so as to limit processing power to get you through the day.”

Traditionally plays guide us towards meaning through preconceived notions. We know what we will experience from the play’s categorized genre. The meaning in Lester’s play is not so obvious, and it may not even have a symbolic truth value. It may be an exercise in pushing theater to its limits. Read into this play as much as you would like; experience it as a visual metaphor for the paragraph long plot synopsis in the play bill, or, enjoy it on technical grounds as an aesthetic journey through sounds and light. This play expands genre barriers, and it does so enchantingly.

Learn more about Performa 13.

Learn more about Gabriel Lester.

Gabriel Lester "Super-Sargasso Sea (phantom play #1)

Gabriel Lester “Super-Sargasso Sea (phantom play #1)

New York City Fall Lineup: My top #art and #film exhibits of the season

Myself rocking out at a summer opening at Eyebeam, whose "PRISM Break Up" series makes my must see list.

Myself rocking out at a summer opening at Eyebeam, whose “PRISM Break Up” series makes my must see list.

“Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938” @ Museum of Modern Art

I remember when this retrospective was announced, Hyperallergic magazine dubbed Rene Magritte the “Artist Who Embodies Teenage Intellectual Angst”. This show will be a blockbuster, and will always be bursting at the seems with New Yorkers and tourists alike. But Alas! These trompe l’oeil paintings will not be missed!

September 28, 2013–January 12, 2014

Cost: Free Fridays 4:00 – 8:00 PM

“Robert Indiana: Beyond Love” @ the Whitney

An artist of the late 20th century, Indiana’s artwork addresses fundamental post-war issues through a Pop-inspired ironic lense. His use of typography, primary matte colors, and inspiration from information graphic design including highway and road signs transfigures everyday iconography into critical artworks.

September 26 – January 5, 2013

Mike Kelley @ MoMA PS1

I am not familiar with Mike Kelley, but I like what I see.

From MoMA PS1.com:

“Regarded as one of the most influential artists of our time, Mike Kelley (1954–2012) produced a body of deeply innovative work mining American popular culture and both modernist and alternative traditions—which he set in relation to relentless self- and social examinations, both dark and delirious.”

I love PS1, and any excuse to visit this serene museum is a trip in itself. Plus great art by a world-renowned artist? No more excuses.

October 13, 2013 – February 2, 2014

“PRISM Break Up” @ Eyebeam

The politics of Surveillance is a hot topic of our contemporary culture and has been for some time. Think of Michel Foucault’s philosophy on the Panopticon in “Discipline and Punish”, or George Orwell’s futuristic novel “1984”. Whomever we target as our “Big Brother” during this age of globalization through technology, bodies of authority grow with our cyberworld and continue to innovate new modes of surveillance. Eyebeam in Chelsea will host “PRISM Break Up”, a series of art and technology events dedicated to discussing Surveillance politics.

October 4 – October 6, 2013

Cost:  Free

The 51st New York Film Festival

 Contemporary films for contemporary minds.

My picks:

“At Berkley” : Director Frederick Wiseman looks at the University of California, Berkeley, from multiple angles in order to arrive at a rich portrait of a world renowned Institution of higher learning.

“Her” : Director Spike Jonze and stars Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson examine relationships in the 21st century. This sci-fi-esque love story between a man and his state of the art Operating System begs to question the politics of love during the internet age. As love continues to redefine itself through technology, will we exchange direct human contact for our instantly-fulfilling interactions with our hand held gadgets?

September 27 – October 13, 2013

Sergei Eisenstein @ Anthology Film Archives

I love going to Anthology. I love its location in the East Village. Its lack of concessions stand allows all focus to fall onto the films they show. For their “Essential Cinema” program Anthology will be showing a few Eisenstein classics, including “Battleship Potemkin”, “Strike”, “October”, “Old and New”, and “Ivan the Terrible: Parts 1 & 2”. I suggest his flagship “Battleship Potemkin” if you are not familiar with this early 20th Century Soviet Russian Direct. Be prepared for groundbreaking cinematography and propagandist themes in thrilling black and white 35 mm.

Mike Kelley @ MoMA PS1

Mike Kelley @ MoMA PS1