I spent most of Saturday smiling so hard my face hurt thanks to the Internet Yami-Ichi. The day long flea market hosted more 140 internet-savvy vendors inside Maspeth’s Knockdown Center, a refurbished factory complete with brick walls, wooden support beams and 40 feet high ceilings. The space proved a fitting contrast to vendors wares which were new, disposable and typically useless. I felt a little like I’d landed in the 150th wing of Internet and discovered a very strange party.
It started as a fun idea: Invite some artists to make sculpture that can be used in a drone obstacle course. Because, secretly, who doesn’t want to navigate a buzzy, remote-controlled flying craft around an art installation set in a beautiful restored factory space?
But the more organizers at the Knockdown Center, a three-year-old arts space on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, thought about it, an intriguing question arose: How do these increasingly popular “eyes in the sky” change our perception of art?
“Hardcore Activity in Progress,” a one-night, 15-act concert Friday at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens, represented an idea. The idea was the sound of extremes — going for it, boundary-testing, hardness — across musical languages. So, for instance, there was the noise band Wolf Eyes, the cello improviser Okkyung Lee, the grindcore group Napalm Death, the rapper Gunplay, the post-minimal piano rhapsodist Lubomyr Melnyk, the free-jazz trio the Thing, and the electronic musician Tim Hecker, presented in overlapping sets, in three different parts of a 50,000-square-foot former door-frame factory.