On Saturday September 28, 2013 The Architectural League of New York celebrated its annual Beaux Arts Ball at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue in New York City.
The cavernous 28,000 square foot interior of the Armory Drill Hall, once home to the infamous 1913 Armory Show that introduced experimental styles of the European vanguard into American visual culture, was transformed for a single evening into a responsive multimedia landscaped inspired by its disruptive nature and historical legacy.
An array of tensegrity structures rose above and dipped below an existing cable grid datum 20 feet overhead. This faceted, diaphanous landscape transformed into a dynamic site with responsive lighting by Renfro Design Group, live video feed and projections keyed to the geometric surfaces, while a horde of 10 feet tall puppets designed and activated by Processional Arts Workshop culminated in evocative dance between guests and performers on the dancefloor below the lightweight structures.
The environment was designed and constructed on site with consideration to structural efficiency and sustainable building practices, and built entirely from modular fire-retardant polyethylene sheets made from recycled resins, typically used for concrete curing, nylon rope and compression poles comprised of unaltered, aluminum electrical conduit. Given the temporary nature of the Beaux Arts Ball, material fabrics and nylon rope will be re-purposed for theater production, while the aluminum conduit while return to its supplier.
The entire installation was installed and removed over the course of a three day period.
Performance installation by Processional Arts Workshop
Lighting design and installation by Renfro Design Group
Music and sound installation by Nathan Halpern (with Mary Lattimore and Chris Ruggiero)
DJ set by Jon Santos
Projection design by Luke Taylor & Zack Shepard