Flash Points

Some Thoughts on Art + Transformation in Williamsburg

Loren Munk–of the infamous DIY online video program James Kalm Report–is a walking encyclopedia of the history of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg art community. So when I asked him about his take on the notion of Art + Transformation, he shared his thoughts through words and video on the transformation of Williamsburg:

Until recently, Williamsburg has been the venue of choice for underground gorilla art actions. The crumbling old piers on the west side of the ‘Berg have provided generations of local kids, the homeless and the avant-garde with unregulated space to play.

In June 2005, artist Chris Martin in preparation for his upcoming exhibition, decided to throw an unauthorized “happening/photo-shoot” to create an image for a poster.  The resulting party represents the last gasp of Old Williamsburg.

Four years latter, developers have seized on this strip of coast as some of the most desirable real estate in New York City. The unrestrained construction of glass and steal apartment towers and massive throngs of tattooed hipsters, being cajoled by Borough President Marty Markowitz bares testament to the extraordinary, though not necessarily positive, transformation of this area.

-Loren Munk


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