New York, N.Y. Cornell NYC Tech is headed to Roosevelt Island, New York City — ‘Silicon Island of the East.’ Architect Tadeusz Sudol of the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) believes that there could be a New Museum of Technology, Art and Science (MOOTAS) on Roosevelt Island as well. A RIVAA Gallery exhibition has just opened that includes a depiction of Tad’s vision for the plant, along with images of technology inside the structure.
RIVAA Gallery opened an exhibition this week to explore the idea of converting the island’s existing power plant building with colorful and still functioning machinery into a dramatic space for new art similar to the highly successful Tate Modern in London.
Tad’s powerful photography unveils the hidden and intriguing beauty of the harsh world of man’s machinery from the beginning of the century, which ought to be saved for the generations to come and confronted with the new green, safe and efficient visions of our future. The ghosts of those who have worked here for so many years seem to linger.
Tad, who I interviewed in HuffPo two years ago in Tadeusz Sudol: An Eye for the Roosevelt Island Tram, told me in an exclusive for HuffPo:
MOTAAS, with its convenient location behind the Roosevelt Island Tram Station, could make Roosevelt Island a destination point for all New York City visitors similar to the High Line in Manhattan.
Last spring I wrote here Roosevelt Island Art Bridges Two NYC Boroughs about the idea of building Leonardo da Vinci’s incredible bridge on Roosevelt Island. How perfect if this technologically advanced structure could be modeled in Tad’s envisioned museum there? I spoke with Melinda Iverson who represents the artist of the Leonardo Bridge who told me:
What better icon of possibilities for a museum dedicated to technology, art and science than a bridge designed by that universal genius Leonardo da Vinci? With Roosevelt Island’s new resident Cornell engineering school campus, and growing sculpture garden environment, what better public sculpture somewhere on the island than the compelling geometry of LdV’s bridge to inspire the powers that be to save the magnificent power plant building and beautifully preserved industrial age fixtures as a museum and gallery like the Tate Modern, only better.
Begun in the 1930s and finished in the 1950s, the plant was built to provide energy for the island’s two hospitals, Coler and Goldwater Hospital. Goldwater Hospital, near the new FDR Monument and the ruins of the Smallpox Laboratory eerily visible from the FDR, is a sprawling ten-acre campus of grand but ancient buildings soon to be replaced by a $2 billion post-modern campus for Cornell NYC Tech. The plant stands already as a monument to technology and with support would complement Cornell’s technological presence.
Tad Sudol commissioned a short film for the MOTAAS exhibit at Gallery RIVAA shot in the steam plant titled “Steam Plant Dance” available on Vimeo. Inspired by a dance event at the Tate Modern, Tad encouraged dancers to perform and interact in the Steam Plant Space. The film captures their interactions with the future MOTAAS and choreographs a free form interplay with the working steam plant. Dancers were led by Stephen Ursprung and the movie was directed by Susheel Kurin.
MOTAAS as a Museum with powerful and the most unique combination of technology, art and science may become the mind opener and imagination booster for a new generation of students not only from Cornell -Technion Campus on Roosevelt Island.
Gallery RIVAA Hours
MOTAAS Show – Museum of Technology, Art & Science
Wed. & Fri. 6-9 pm, Sat. & Sun. 11-5 pm
Through Oct. 14, 2012
The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org) is the umbrella organization under which The International University Center Haiti (Uni Haiti) and Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW) are organized.
Originally published in The Daily Kos, October 4, 2012.