Museum of the Moving Image will welcome the public to its expanded and redesigned home beginning Saturday, January 15, 2011. The new museum, given striking new physical expression in a design by architect Thomas Leeser, features extraordinary new facilities for seeing, studying, enjoying and interacting with screen culture in all its forms. A dedication ceremony on Thursday, January 13, will precede the public opening.
The only institution of its kind in the United States, Moving Image has now doubled in size (from 50,000 to 97,700 square feet) through the $67 million building project, including $54.7 million from the City of New York. An innovative design by Leeser Architecture reimagines the ground floor of the existing City-owned building and provides a three-story addition.
"New York has long been at the center of visual media development, so it's fitting that the nation's only institution dedicated to its exploration-the Museum of the Moving Image- continues to thrive and expand in the City," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "The museum's state-of-the-art expansion in Astoria will allow it to provide new exhibition and screening space and the capacity to double the number of students that its education center serves. It is an example of the kind of substantial investments we continue to make in New York City's cultural institutions, which benefit New Yorkers and, last year, helped us attract a record number of visitors."
"The inauguration of this building, almost thirty years to the day after this institution was founded, brings to a close our early history while opening a major new chapter in the Museum's life," Moving Image Director Rochelle Slovin stated. "With this new facility designed with such imagination and ingenuity by Thomas Leeser, Museum of the Moving Image enhances its status as one of the major cultural institutions of New York. Thanks to the generosity of our donors-chief among them the City of New York-we are able as never before to illuminate screen culture in all its variety, as both art and industry, for New Yorkers of every age and for our visitors from around the globe."
At this major new cultural destination in the vibrant and diverse Astoria neighborhood of New York, visitors will be immersed in experiences including:
· an inaugural film, television, and digital-media program, Celebrating the Moving Image (January 15 - February 20), offering six weeks of newly restored classics and contemporary films from around the world, personal appearances, live musical performances and special events, designed to showcase the Museum's new 267-seat theater and new 68-seat Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room (see below for highlights)· Real Virtuality, an inaugural exhibition of boundary-crossing experiments in art and real-time, interactive digital technology (two Moving Image commissions, a U.S. museum premiere, and three New York museum premieres), in the new gallery for changing exhibitions (see below for highlights)· in the new Video Screening Amphitheater, a commissioned animation, Dolls vs. Dictators (made possible by a grant from the Greenwall Foundation), and related art works by filmmaker and artist Martha Colburn, inspired by dolls in the Museum's unparalleled collection of licensed merchandise· a large-scale video work, City Glow (2005) by Chiho Aoshima in collaboration with animator Bruce Ferguson, shown for the first time as an unbroken, mural-scale panorama on the new 50-foot-long projection wall in the redesigned lobby· and a late-night Art Party, Signal to Noise (January 15), organized by Assistant Curator of Digital Media Jason Eppink, will feature Nick Yulman and his robotic orchestra accompanying silent films; Victoria Keddie leading a funeral for Kodachrome with her prepared violin; a double-projector performance by Martha Colburn with a live band; Fall On Your Sword accompanying their mashed-up videos of William Shatner and David Hasselhoff with electro-jams; VJ Shantell Martin extracting partygoers' digital auras while they wait; appearances by laptop rock band Project Jenny, Project Jan; Sweatshoppe; DJ Small Change; Scott Draves and the Electric Sheep; chiptune artists Bit Shifter and Nullsleep performing on hacked Gameboys; and much more.
The Museum has upgraded and reinstalled its 15,000-square-foot core exhibition Behind the Screen, a comprehensive, interactive exploration of how films and television programs are produced, promoted and exhibited. Every monitor and audio-visual projection in the exhibition is brand new. In the spring, a new interactive experience, Foley Sound, will allow visitors to try their hands-and feet-as Foley artists, performing sound effects for scenes from well-known films. Existing interactive exhibits have been reconceived. Visitors will now be able to email the videos they create at the stop-motion animation stands. The Video Flipbook, Automated Dialogue Replacement, Music, and Sound Effects interactive experiences have been redesigned to improve the user experience. A live broadcast editing display will now feature a New York Mets baseball game specially recorded for the Museum by SNY-TV, including feeds from the 12 on-field cameras, the control room, the announcers' booth, the game graphics and the game broadcast itself.
Other amenities of the expansion-renovation include a the Moving Image Café operated by Restaurant Associates; the new Moving Image Store; an on-site space for collection storage, improving researchers' access to the Museum's preeminent collection; and a new outdoor space, the 10,000-square-foot Courtyard Garden (to open later this spring).
The Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Education Center on the museum's redesigned ground floor allows the museum to double the annual number of visiting students it serves from 30,000 to 60,000. In addition to providing a dedicated student entry (opening in the spring) and the William Fox Amphitheater for student orientation, the Education Center will provide opportunities for high-tech, hands-on instruction in two media labs, a seminar room and the Nam June Paik Room / HBO Production Lab. The new 68-seat screening room will be used for the Museum's groundbreaking education program Screening America, as well as for other educational programs and public screenings.