This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Virtual Reality Exhibitions and Cyberdefense Workshops

by Michael Anthony Farley on July 17, 2017 Events

Well, this week starts off strong.
Monday we’re looking forward to checking out the new VR World NYC, which is hosting a virtual reality art show and concert until midnight. If that hasn’t sated your cyberpunk hunger, check out Lin Wang’s cyborg wigs tuesday at Gallery Sensei, the NYFA/NYSCA group show Facial Profiling at C24 Gallery on Thursday, or the “Digital Self Defense and Empowerment Workshops” happening all Saturday afternoon at the New Museum. We love when a week’s itinerary in IRL New York looks like a montage from Hackers.

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VR World NYC

4 East 34th Street
New York, NY
7:00 p.m. - 12:00 p.m. Website

Virtual Insanity™: VR + Music

Well this is undoubtedly the coolest thing happening on a Monday night this summer. Babycastles is presenting a virtual reality art show and concert at VR World NYC.

Among the highlights is the Digital Museum of Digital Art, which Paddy and I have both experienced and raved about. It’s seriously one of the best art-viewing experiences you can have this week, so get yourself there ASAP.

Artists: Alfredo Salazar-Caro and his virtual institution Di Mo DAArt 404, Haleek Maul, James Orlando, HYPER.ZONE, LaJuné McMillian, Michelle Cortese, Michelle Senteio, Nicole Ruggiero, Prashast Thapan

Live performances by:
Icarus MothRAFiAHaleek Maul


Gallery Sensei

135 Eldridge Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Lin Wang: Tenant, Tranant, Trance

This show is only up for two days, a unusual duration for an installation that has to do, on some level, with time. Lin Wang’s semi-narrative installation alludes to past tenants of a surreal domestic space, which itself is somewhat anachronistic—referencing a cyborg future where the synthetic and prosthetic wait to merge with absent bodies. The artist has created a series of household appliances associated with comfort (fans, massage chairs, etc.) combined with wigs. Picture mounds of artificial hair quivering in anticipation of contact with a user. So creepy, yet so alluring.

Artists Space

55 Walker Street
New York, NY
7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Website

People's Cultural Plan Launch

This looks good: Mychal Johnson, community activist and member of South Bronx Unite, and artist Chloë Bass will discuss the ins and outs of the People’s Cultural Plan. It’s a grass-roots, social-justice focused alternative to the Department of Cultural Affairs’ CreateNYC plan, which launches this week. The guiding principles here are de-gentrification, cultural equity, and labor equity—three things the city desperately needs, in particular for the survival of the arts.

The event features drinks, opportunities for discussion and mingling, and translators in Chinese and Spanish. This is a great opportunity to meet other artists thinking politically and getting involved in the interrelated labor/gentrification struggles happening now in New York.


Equity Gallery

245 Broome Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Liana Finck: Passing for Human

Liana Finck is the most millennial comic artist I can think of for several reasons. For one, her pen-and-ink melancholic musings on relationships, existential angst, and the never-ending stresses of being a broke 20-something are relatable and often hilarious. Also, she’s built her fan base out of her popular Instagram account. Here’s a chance to see her work (some 80 drawings!) IRL.

EFA Project Space

323 West 39th Street
New York, NY
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Website

Setting 1880-1920 / Dinner Party

Liliana Dirks-Goodman’s theatrical dinner party/lecture/performance will introduce guests to “the utopian design visions of seven first-wave white feminists” who lived in the decades surrounding the turn of the last century. This is the era when a lot of social “progressives” advocated for urban planning, design, and architectural movements intended to better the lives of the poor and immigrants. We often hear about men’s grand visions for the “city beautiful” or Garden City movements, but the fact that many of these visionaries and activists were women is often overlooked. Their different perspective was often aimed at improving the lives of women as well.

The dinner (arguably the most highly-gendered domestic social activity of the 20th Century) will be prepared by chef Kristin Worral, who will use recipes from Rumford Kitchen’s cookbook.



167 Canal Street, 5th floor
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Website

My fossil, my echo / my excess, my scrap

This exhibition is curated around the idea of anxieties related to the index.  The curatorial statement, from Gabrielle Jensen and Julia Lee, is a bit dense, but the show looks really promising. Chiefly, the concern here seems to be what becomes of an object once it is a record or fragment of itself?

I’m excited to see Carmen Neely included in this exhibition. When I met her on a studio visit years ago I was convinced she’d be an art star. Her work includes personified abstract forms that jump from piece to piece, personal objects embedded in canvases, and plenty of autobiographical ephemera worked into painterly compositions. It definitely fossilizes some weird stuff, and does it charmingly.

Artists: Cristine Brache, Isabel Legate, Carmen Neely, Kayode Ojo, Patrice Renee Washington

C24 Gallery

560 West 24th Street
New York, NY
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Website

Facial Profiling

Curated by David C. Terry, this show looks at identity through the lens of seven NYSCA/NYFA Artists. The artists here touch on issues such as “the observed self, the portrayal of individuals as well as the perceived and projected self, and how we interpret/project imagery as portrait.” Included among the seven is master of selfies/constructed identity Sean Fader, so expect there to be a dash of humor among what could otherwise be heady navel gazing.

Artists: Samira Abbassy, Kwesi Abbensetts, Geoffrey Chadsey, Sean Fader, Michael Ferris Jr. , Kymia Nawabi, Oliver Wasow


New Museum

235 Bowery
New York, NY
1:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Website

Digital Self-Defense and Empowerment Workshops

In conjunction with the exhibition Paul Ramírez Jonas: Half-Truths, the New Museum has teamed up with Equality Labs and NEW INC residents DATA X and Taeyoon Choi to offer an afternoon of workshops about surveillance and autonomy in the digital age. So spend a muggy Saturday nerding out to all your hacker fantasies in the New Museum’s air conditioning.

Here’s the rundown of workshops:

  • 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Handmade Computers with Taeyoon Choi—learn how to assemble a basic computer that can perform addition, keep time, and store memory! It’s free, but requires registration by emailing .
  • 3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Data Selfie with DATA X—DATA X is a creative studio that believes in transparency. Here, they’ll be demonstrating their browser add-on Data Selfie, which tracks the way sites such as Facebook track your data, giving the user a peak at how corporations and their algorithms view us. Register here.
  • 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Digital Self-Defense with Equality Labs—Equality Labs,
    “a South Asian women’s, gender non-conforming, and trans tech collective” will present a workshop about protecting one’s information in the age of the surveillance state. This is pretty useful stuff as the world becomes more and more like William Gibson’s worst authoritarian nightmare. The event is limited to 30 participants, so be sure to register here ASAP.

Pine Box Rock Shop

12 Grattan St
Brooklyn, NY
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Website

Meowmania! A Cat Party in Brooklyn

It is Summer in New York City, which means our art event guides tend to be a little heavier on events that are just ridiculous or activism-oriented than usual due to the dearth of art openings. This event is both.

Bring your leashed cat to partake in activities such as a cat photobooth, games, cat-themed drink specials, and a cat costume contest. The whole event is a fundraiser for local cat rescue programs, so all of this “basically internet circa 2012” style shenanigans is at least for a good cause.


Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Website

Performance in the Park: Maren Hassinger's "Pink Trash"

As part of the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85Maren Hassinger will be re-staging her 1982 performance “Pink Trash” in Prospect Park. The piece was an important reflection on public space, labor, and “maintenance art”, and seeing it performed three decades later is bound to be something special.

Tickets are $25, but you get a lot of bang for your buck:

  • 1:00 p.m. Special tour of We Wanted a Revolution and conversation with co-curator Rujeko Hockley and Maren Hassinger
  • 2:00 p.m. Walk to Prospect Park
  • 2:15 p.m. Performance of “Pink Trash”

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