Art galleries, hip cocktail joints, coffee shops, and bowling alleys in seemingly abandoned warehouses make Long Island City feel more like Kings County than Queens. But you know what Brooklyn doesn’t have? One of the city’s longest-running summer dance parties, MoMA PS1 Warm Up. Worry not, party machines, because LIC does!
The eclectic museum will open its spacious courtyard for its 22nd season to experimental local and international musicians from the worlds of electronica, hip hop, synth, techno, dance, and beyond over the course of nine Saturdays, July 6–August 31.
Electric doesn’t even begin to describe this year’s lineup, which isn’t any surprise considering the summer-long bash is cocurated by those in the know of the underground: PS1 curators Taja Cheek and Eliza Ryan; YouTube’s Artist Partnerships lead Naomi Zeichner; Latinx music critic Isabelia Herrera; and indie record label names like Dean Bein (True Panther Records), Jonas Leon (On-Retainer Agency), and Matt Werth (RVNG Intl.). The 75 acts performing this summer are repping the local (the high schoolers behind Laundry Day, Bronx remixers the Martinez Brothers, old-school cassette label Bunny Jr. Tapes), the national (Gary, Indiana’s Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Smino from St. Louis, the Marías from Los Angeles), and the international (BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, South Africa’s own Sho Madjozi, Madrid-based reggaeton act Ms. Nina) scenes.
You didn’t think you’d just be dancing under the sun in Long Island City, did you? A party at one of the city’s most distinct contemporary art institutions requires at least one site-specific installation to gawk at. MoMA PS1 has been highlighting up-and-coming visionaries from its Young Architects Program for the past 20 seasons of Warm Up to not only present their innovative designs, but also act as a high-noon respite from the dance floor.
This year’s chosen one is Hórama Rama by Mexico City–based design studio Pedro & Juana. Described as a 40-foot-tall urban jungle that provides “a refuge amid the changing Long Island City skyline” by a MoMA PS1 press release, the immersive outdoor installation also includes hammocks custom-made in the Yucatán region of Mexico and a two-story-tall waterfall. The eco-friendly overtones are intentional; architects were asked to address such issues as sustainability and recycling in their submissions.
Of course, MoMA PS1’s doors are readily open if you’re looking to escape the rhythmic crowds for a little while. Exhibitions running through the summer include a career-spanning retrospective of Lebanese-American painter and sculptor Simone Fattal; Cheyenne and Arapaho Nation activist and multidisciplinary artist Edgar Heap of Birds’ series touching on Native American public health and violence; and the late Julie Becker’s rarely seen multimedia pieces dedicated to the human psyche, capitalism, and her hometown of Los Angeles.