HARLEM — Snoop around century-old Brownstones, check out a pop-up art installation under the Harlem Viaduct or follow your phone as it takes you on an interactive site-specific art tour through Hamilton Heights.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most interesting events happening in the neighborhood this weekend.
Hyperspace Harlem is a three-day art festival taking place in five venues all over West Harlem and Harlem.
The idea sprung from something called the iParade, which is a location specific smart phone app that takes you on an interactive tour/exhibit of the neighborhood. Depending on where you are you see a different art film on your phone.
Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus, the art duo behind iParade, wanted to incorporate more local artists and have a conversation about the relationship between people and the places they live in.
They reached out to City College and local art galleries. The idea grew into the three-day festival, said Sarah Lehat, publicist for the festival.
“There’s music reading, film, installations, exhibits, art you hang on walls, performance art, it’s a little bit of everything,” said Lehat. “You should see it if you are curious about what the hell is going on in Harlem right now.”
If you've ever wanted to poke around the home of a complete stranger, check out the Strivers’ Row Home Tour.
Eight homes along 138th Street between Frederick Douglas and Adam Clayton Powell boulevards will open their doors to curious visitors.
“As you can imagine in New York people are generally very private and weary of letting people into their homes,” said historian Michael Henry Adams. “This is an opportunity to satisfy that curiosity.”
The homes were built in the 1890’s and are some of the only blocks in Manhattan to have back alleys.
It seems New Yorkers were as hungry for space then as they are now, Adams said. Developers around the city did not build back alleys because it was thought they took up too much space and devalued the property, he added.
Some of the homes still have the original fixtures and others have more modern layouts. Every home is different, Adams said.
Tickets to the self-guided tour cost $25 or $35 the day of the event. There is also a private tour that takes you into three more homes with Adams for $50.
The third and final installment of Under the Viaduct. The public art installation aimed at illuminating 12th Avenue will feature live music, interactive dancers and graffiti that uses light reflectors to move around the viaduct between West 125th and 135th streets.
They will also show films on the Cotton Club's billboard and project multimedia images onto the club's wall.
Participants should not expect to passively stand and watch the show, they will be a part of it, said curator and founder of the West Harlem Art Fund Savona Bailey-McClain.
“People want to find meaning in their lives," she said. "People stopped to gather when we were setting up the installation. All it took was one little girl that stopped and said, ‘wow, what's that?’”
The event is designed to attract people to the viaduct and highlight the area’s restaurants and growing tech industry, Bailey-McClain said. Many of the art installations use technology in order to create unique visual illusions.
Most of the events are free to the public, with the exception of a guided tour.