Today marks the 11th year and anniversary of the Art in Odd Places (AiOP) festival. AiOP is a visual and performing arts festival that strives to present works outside the confines of traditional public space and stretch the boundaries of communication in the public realm. The festival itself runs along 14th Street, all the way from Avenue C to the Hudson River. 14th Street is in many ways a major thoroughfare in Manhattan, marking the terminus of the Manhattan grid system, as well as serving as the most identifiable northern border of the village.
The 2015 festival, AiOP: RECALL, is an anniversary festival, looking back at projects and performances that have taken place over the last 10 years. Many of these projects themselves touch on history along 14th Street: history of the architecture, the communities, and even the topography. As the festival itself will touch on projects related to their past, we here at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation are taking a look at some of the projects that have examined the history of this northern border for our neighborhood.
LudiCity- Listening Posts
Originally presented as part of AiOP 2014: FREE last year, Listening Posts is a “covert sound installation” that “uses location-based mobile media to rethink notions of community, privacy, and dialogue in relation to place.” As described by the artists:
“…There are six listening posts—specially marked small metal utility boxes that are attached to parking sign poles—each with a headphone jack at their base. Once located, plug your headphones in to listen to soundscapes that use found audio to explore the stories and memories attached to the surrounding urban sites.”
These sound boxes will be located on 14th Street between Avenue C and 1st Avenue and will require an audience member to bring their own headphones to interact with them. For this year’s staging, LudiCity reached out the GVSHP and included soundbites from our Oral History Collection to be included in their sound boxes.
These sound boxes will be found once again between 1st Avenue and Avenue C, Saturday and Sunday October 10-11th from 10am-5pm.
Maria Builes- Loisaida
For Loisaida, artist Maria Builes prepared Tostones, a side dish made from plantains, which is popular in Central and South America and the Caribbean. She then distributed these Tostones to passersby from her spot on Avenue C. Builes prepared all the Tostones by hand, foregoing the use of a press, to represent the struggles many immigrants faces while settling into the Alphabet City neighborhood. The Tostones were offered to the public by Builes as an act of solidarity and an affirmation of immigration.
Jeff Casper and Sophie Cooke- Water Lines
Examining Manhattan’s built and natural environment, Water Lines involved the artists acting as pseudo-surveyors during the day, measuring topography and making maps of the area. Then at night, they would create evolving map collages “containing various layers of geographic expansion, flood lines, and historical fragments of the area.” These map collages were then projected on surfaces, sides, and facades of buildings on and near W. 14th Street from 10th Avenue to the Hudson River.
AiOP 2015: RECALL will be running this year from October 7-11, taking place on 14th Street from Avenue C all the way to the Hudson River.