NEW YORK, NY…Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum, announced today that the institution is launching an incubator for art, technology, and design that will be a first for the museum field. Opening in summer 2014 in the Museum’s adjacent building at 231 Bowery, this new not-for-profit initiative will create a hybrid educational and professional workspace—a dynamic 24/7 center where more than sixty start-up and creative entrepreneurs will form a vibrant interdisciplinary community geared toward collaboration and innovation. Amplifying the New Museum’s mission to explore new art and new ideas, the incubator was conceived by Phillips and the Museum’s Deputy Director Karen Wong, and is the latest in a series of programs developed by the institution to challenge the boundaries and expand the relevance of museum practice in the twenty-first century. Members will be selected by the incubator’s Director and a staff committee through a competitive application process (to be announced in early 2014) and will pay a monthly membership fee in exchange for workspace, support services, and a full complement of programs. Additionally, artists, thought leaders, and engineers will be invited for special guest residencies and will participate in activities providing further opportunities for collaboration. The incubator’s community will be supported by a robust schedule of weekly educational classes and workshops, seminars and presentations, and professional and mentorship events. The New Museum will leverage its Board and staff expertise, as well as its extensive network of affiliations to provide special development opportunities for incubator members. New Museum Trustee David Heller will chair a special advisory board. Members will also have the opportunity to share their work with each other and the public, fostering far-ranging dialogues and information exchange.
Lisa Phillips commented, “The New Museum is expanding to create a complementary center for research and development, prototyping, experimentation, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Having pioneered a number of programs and projects over the past decade, we feel that creating an active incubator is a natural extension of our mission and goals. We are very pleased to introduce our incubator as a new model to foster creative cultural practice and reinforce the Bowery as a place of meaningful innovation.”/
Studio-X, part of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and an ongoing partner of the New Museum, will be an anchor member of the incubator. Studio-X is a distinguished lab with global locations that focuses on independent research by professors and postgraduate students.New Museum programs such as IDEAS CITY and the Digital Archive project will be a critical part of the incubator community. The New Museum’s affiliate organization Rhizome will also support the incubator through its expertise and leadership in contemporary art engaged with technology.“With its unique educational programs, Rhizome, and the IDEAS CITY festival, the New Museum has been branching out in different directions, developing new formats for the distribution of knowledge,” said Massimiliano Gioni, Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions. The cultural incubator will be located next door to the Museum’s SANAA-designed building in a nineteenth-century structure that once was home and studio to such artists as James Rosenquist and Tom Wesselmann. It will offer eleven thousand square feet of shared workspace, informal gathering spaces, conference rooms, screening rooms, studio space, and other amenities. The facility will be designed by SO-IL architects (Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu) in collaboration with Gensler. SO-IL has received international recognition for their design of the Frieze New York Art Fair tent and Idenburg was the project architect for SANAA’s New Museum design. Gensler has also been a long-time collaborator of the New Museum as architect of record for the SANAA building and other projects.
New Museum Deputy Director Karen Wong stated, “We envision the incubator as a future-leaning platform for new, hybrid art projects, innovative applications, and the next inspired online start-up. Our goal is to create a sort of ‘docking station’ where fuel can flow between different practitioners and lead to invention.”
Lisa Philips and Karen Wong. Photo Courtesy of: The New York Times
The incubator at 231 Bowery is made possible by the generous support of the New Museum Board of Trustees. Public support for this project has been provided by the City of New York through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York City Council. The Ford Foundation has provided major support for the artist residencies at the incubator.
About the New Museum
Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.
The New Museum has a long history of incubating ideas, programs, and artworks demonstrated in such successful initiatives as IDEAS CITY, Museum as Hub, Rhizome’s Seven on Seven Conference, and the Generational Triennial. The Museum continues to be a leader at the intersection of art and technology. It was the first museum to create a dedicated space for digital art projects in 2000 (Media Z Lounge), which subsequently led to bringing on Rhizome as an affiliate organization in 2003. Former Rhizome Director, Lauren Cornell, is now organizing the 2015 New Museum Generational Triennial with groundbreaking media artist Ryan Trecartin.