New York City Newsletter

New York City Newsletter

A selection of residencies and stories taking place right now in New York city.

My Island

Governors Island is a 70 ha. green and tranquil island in the Upper New York Bay, approximately 1 km (10 minutes by boat) from Manhattan Island. Tourist ferries to this patch only operate during the summer, weekends.

When you arrive with the ferry one of the first buildings you face is building 110, a former historic army warehouse on the island’s northern shore which now houses LMCC: 20 visual artist in residence studios, 2 rehearsal studios and an exhibition space. Artists-in-residence are offered a retreat-style experience one boat trip away from the buzzing city.


Current artist in residence Hanna Mattes born in Germany in 1980 is on a 5 month residency in LMCC. With her photographs, Mattes researches the influence of film to society. Her photographs are staged. She builds complex sets in her studio or finds sets outside. There she photographed places that are easily recognizable because of their regular appearance in popular movies. With these pictures she alludes to our collective perception. Here and now in New York she has been working on "Nightscapes", a series of photographed paper city scapes.

(left) The view from Hanna's studio overlooking the Manhattan skyline and a palm tree, (right) A close up from an earlier work, part of a series of 4 works all featuring Hanna and the image of a palm tree. (click and scroll down to see the 4 photographs)

Image above: one photograph from the series 'Nightscapes'

In the same LMCC building Dutch artist Katja Mater has her artist-in-residence studio. While in Swing Space residence, Mater works on the project Parallel Planes, which is a continuation of the project Density Drawings, and will make visible two (or more) complete different ‘parallel images’ originated from the same event during the same moment in time.

(left) A Density Drawing by Katja Mater, (right) the view from her window.


Dumbo is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Until the 1890s it used to be a manufacturing district, housing large warehouses and factories that made machinery, paper boxes and the famous Brillo soap pads. With de-industrialization it became almost primarily residential, when artists and other young homesteaders seeking relatively large and inexpensive loft apartment spaces for studios and homes began moving there in the late 1970s.

Here in DUMBO, Brooklyn as an outgrowth of Artists’ Workshop, Triangle Residency was created in 2003. This residency offers studios for artists to realize large-scale, long-term projects and provides a collegial working environment. Studio residents are chosen yearly based upon a competitive portfolio submission application that is reviewed by a jury of New York based arts professionals and Triangle board members and staff. Each artist’s stay culminates in an Open Studio exhibition to which the general public is invited.

Note: Although studio space is provided twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, free of charge, resident artists are responsible for all other expenses including housing, travel, materials and meals. In addition, artists are expected to spend a minimum of 15 hours a week working in their studio or will be asked to leave the program.

Triangle resident artist Marianne Viero's work during the open studios at the Dumbo Arts Festival in September.

Marianne Vierø is an artist born in Copenhagen, Denmark, currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Vierø works in a multitude of media and materials such as photography, sculpture and collage. (Read about her work here)

Alone on the rooftops

Here's a bird's eye panorama of Manhattan & New York City in 1873. The name Manhattan derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon). The word "Manhattan" has been translated as "island of many hills" from the Lenape language.

Interested in doing an artists residency in Manhattan? Go to the residency map, choose 'United States' and zoom in to Manhattan, here you will find over 20 opportunities for short an long term residencies in the city. One of them: Residency Unlimited fosters customized residency environments for artists and curators in all disciplines and at all stages of their practices. During their stay, participants receive individualized technical, production, and administrative assistance. Substantial emphasis is placed on building networking capacity for the residents. This networking aspect is naturally reinforced through the partnering strategies that Residency Unlimited puts into place. Tomaz Hipólito, born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1969 where he studied architecture is doing a 6 months tailor made residency hosted by Residency Unlimited. Read about his experiences in the interview below.

An interview with Tomaz Hipólito at the New Museum cafe.

Trans Artists: How did you end up in New York?

Last year I had an exhibition here at the Emily Harvey Foundation and I met, Nathalie Anglès from Residency Unlimited , she invited me to come here. I came for 6 months to do a residency, I’ve been here for 4 months now.

Can you tell something about the project you are working on right now?

When I arrived here Residency Unlimited asked me what I needed and I asked for permits to access the rooftops of the highest buildings of New York City. I wanted to start my research from the top. I came to New York with a blank sheet, with nothing on my mind, I wanted to observe, familiarize myself with the city and from there find a focal point for my work. I found out that the thing in this city that affects me the most are these skyscrapers. I’ve been in Hong Kong and Sao Paolo and have seen huge buildings all over the world, we don’t have these kind of buildings at home in Portugal. They are unfamiliar and perhaps therefore the objects of my affection. Probably because I am an architect and will be here for 6 months long I figured these buildings will interact with me in some way so I decided to approach them from the top. I got a license to shoot from great buildings and the real estate firms allow me to choose from a lot of buildings, that is the good thing about artists, the can go anywhere. Sometimes I spend 6 hours on a rooftop from 6 pm to midnight, it’s stunning.

Are you all alone when you are on the roof?

Sometimes I’m there with a security guard but after a while they always leave and than I am alone. After hours and hours on these rooftops I felt that I needed to understand more of these buildings so I started spending time in empty floors. For instance: I stayed in a floor that used to be owned by a stock market company full of empty desks and computers. The cinematographic appearance of a space like this is beautiful. From here I started to shoot buildings from the inside to the outside, through the windows, bringing the buildings closer to my eye. In these photographs I bring myself in the image, sometimes with an object. So after 4 months spending time on the roofs and on empty floors my relation with the architecture became very intimate. Some spaces became dear to me and I come back there over and over again. After the relationship with the interior of a specific building has become intense, I return to the rooftop and include myself there in the image, posing.

Does the way you position yourself in the photograph has to do with your relation to the surrounding space?

Yes, It’s about the human scale, our relation to space is all about that. You can find out how space interacts with you if you take on another position and start to move around, lean against the wall & lie down on the floor. All of this is a research.

How is the reaction of the public here on your work?

They understand even though my work has a lot of layers. The idea of my work is the idea of interval, something that is in-between, between presence and absence, between making and not making. This is important because it positions the viewer in a grey area. From this position you can distinguish different shades and different kinds of layers. Basically I don’t like it black and white.

How can you leave after working so long on a close relationship with these buildings?

After the research I am doing here I will continue this approach in Berlin and London, but next year I will come back to this city and will be always linked to New York through work, collaborations, friends and buildings.

A day at Prospect Park

Lotte Geeven & Semâ Bekirovic are doing a residency at Point B in New York City (with the support of FBKVB) from September to November 2011. Together with scientists and the use of the modern and old fashion technology Geeven & Bekirovic are evaluating the interface between nature and culture in NY. Every week West publishes a 'work in progress' book with images of their process.

A photo shoot at Prospect Park. (left) Daniel Carlson under the sheet with the technical camera, (right) Hanging a sheet in a tree to filter the light.

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