#BrooklynMakes

Date: August - November 2016

Team: Flecia Adderly, Natalia Espinal, Sheila Lam, Chenchi Lee, Susan Luss, Adam McGowan, Weirun Sun, Trev True, Borris Ziu

Role: Co-Lead


Background:

COPE NYC partnered with Acumen Capital, owners of the old Pfizer building to create a residency for NYC area emerging artists.


Challenge:

Team up with a business operating in the old Pfizer building in Bed Stuy and produce an interactive art installation geared toward K-6th grade children using only recycled material.

Old Pfizer Building at 630 Flushing Ave Brooklyn NY

Research:

We explored the Pfizer building with two primary objectives; find a business to partner with and procure materials left over from the building’s conversion for reuse. An 8-story former research facility and pharmaceutical factory occupying two square blocks and housing over 100 small businesses. Tenants range from food service to tech and include an art school, distillery, film and tv studio, recording studios, coffee roaster, French bakeries, and an NYPD training facility. We found so many treasures hiding in forgotten corners and yet to be converted spaces including an abandoned plinth (short pedestal) which we used as the superstructure for an interactive sculpture that anchored our exhibition. We were also fortunate to be granted access to Materials for the Arts, an NYC nonprofit that collects unwanted materials from donors for the benefit of school age children.

Pfizer Building

Pfizer Building Storage

Brooklyn Research

Brooklyn Research Library

Solution:

Brooklyn Research, a maker space, a co-working space, and a high-tech consultancy with clients ranging from major corporations to independent artists agreed to work with us. Teaming up with BR gave us access to a deep well of experience creating interactive experiences, cutting edge tools and a mountain of e-waste we thought could be aestheticized in interesting ways. In addition to physical materials, we collected audio and video from the building and using micro computers running MaxMSP left over from another project we created interactive digital elements.


Deliverables:

An interactive installation with sound, video, light, kinetic and tactile elements for the enjoyment of children and adults alike. The installation received numerous class fieldtrips, two months of public exhibition, and the NYPD holiday toy drive gala.

Interactive Audio, Video, Light, and Kinetic Sculpture

Slides from Materials for the Arts

Interactive Audio, Video, Light, and Kinetic Sculpture

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Making of #BrooklynMakes