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Artists to Set Up Shop in LIC Hotels for Monthlong 'Hotel Wars' Challenge

By Jeanmarie Evelly | October 1, 2015 3:34pm | Updated on October 2, 2015 6:19pm
 Long Island City arts group Flux Factory is channeling inspiration from the area's many hotels for its latest project.
Long Island City arts group Flux Factory is channeling inspiration from the area's many hotels for its latest project.
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Flux Factory

DUTCH KILLS — Long Island City arts group Flux Factory is channeling inspiration from the area's many hotels for its latest project.

In "Hotel Wars," teams of more than a dozen artists, designers and performers will set up shop in three nearby hotel lobbies for the next few weeks, creating art projects exploring the relationship between the neighborhood and its proliferation of lodgings.

The teams will compete against one another in a series challenges that assign a different prompt or topic to base their work off of each week, with a winner crowned at the end of the month.

More than two dozen hotels call Long Island City home, according to the business advocacy group LIC Partnership, with another two dozen or so in the works.

"I think there's seven hotels within a one-block radius of Flux Factory," said Flux Factory's residency director Carina Kaufman, adding that the hotels had opened up in just the past six or seven years since the organization moved to its current location on 29th Street near 40th Avenue.

"[We wanted to] come up with some sort of project that looked at this new development in a neutral way."

Flux Factory has reached out to three hotels nearby — Home2 Suites by Hilton, Holiday Inn L.I. City Manhattan View, and Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Queens/Queensboro Bridge — which agreed to let artists camp out in their lobbies for the next month.

"They're all really excited to be involved in supporting Long Island City's arts community," Kaufman said.

The teams will interact with hotel guests, workers and local residents, and will get a new topic every week that will act as inspiration for the project they have to complete.

The first week, for example, will require them to create a "crowd-sourced history" of the hotel they're assigned to and the land it sits on, according to Kaufman.

The groups can choose to do the project in whatever medium they want — video, a tapestry or any other media — and the creations will be judged at the end of each week.

The project hopes to start a discussion on the many hotels, how the tourism they bring impacts the neighborhood and how different stakeholders in the area coexist. 

"This project is really an investigation," Kaufman said. "We're not sure what conclusions we're going to come up with or where it will go. We just kind of wanted to open up the dialogue."

"Hotel Wars" will kick off this Sunday with an "Olympics-style" opening ceremony and parade at 4 p.m. that wil include a marching band.

The public can attend the judging sessions and awards ceremonies on Oct. 11 and 14, and a final winner will be chosen at a closing ceremony on Nov. 1.

For more information, visit Flux Factory's website.