BIG POP UP: BMW Guggenheim’s first weekend includes walking tours, yoga, thinking

East Villagers just got a couple of new neighbors as BMW + The Guggenheim Museum kicked off their pop up on First Street between First and Second. The BMW Guggenheim Lab will be subletting the spot from today through October 16 (first weekend schedule below) and is then headed to Berlin in the spring and Mumbai for winter 2012/2013.

The BMW Guggenheim pop up will explore the dynamic between “public comfort and private comfort.” In other words, they’ll be looking at how we can improve cities in the future. As cities transition from brick and mortar to wireless everything everywhere, innovative companies are leading the charge to show off new tech, bring together thought leaders and rope in the public for conversation and experiential marketing. In May, Audi came through Openhouse Gallery to cap its Audi Urban Future Initiative, an architecture competition that looked at how to heal cities from the wounds of deep, wide auto thoroughfares. The pop up was part of the New Museum’s Festival of Ideas for the New City, which looked at the changing city in a similar way the BMW Guggenheim pop up will.

The pop-up series is the most beautiful form of social media – the physical kind where you can talk to people, see them smile, have real interactions and use the Internet for logistical support. And just like social media, entry is free. Check out the first weekend’s schedule below.

Manhattan in 1916 couresy of Perry-Castaneda map collection

The Manhattan grid is pretty much the same as it was in 1916. Everything else has changed — including how we respond to the city. Map courtesy of the Perry-Castaneda map collection.

Thursdays from 2-3 pm: Charles Montgomery and Colin Ellard will measure what the city does to your mind and body. For instance, why exactly does Midtown make you agro and anxious? Why does Williamsburg propel you to the Ray-Ban store? Why does Soho have you talking with a European accent? Find out more at the BMW Guggenheim Lab.

Thursday, August 4, 7-9 pm: Momoyo Kaijima of BMW Guggenheim Lab architectural firm Atelier Bow Wow talks shop with Elma van Boxel and Kristian Koreman of Netherlands-based firm Zones Urbaines Sensibles. Take it from tiny Holland and Japan to find innovative solutions to urban development. Find out more at the BMW Guggenheim Lab.

Friday, August 5, 2-5 pm: Treat the East Village and Lower East Side like a museum as BMW Guggenheim takes you on a walking tour. The art will be the city, and the meaning will be in the elements that make EVIL and LES distinctly local and community oriented. The green bike lanes, the intersections-turned-chilling-plazas on Allen and my rooftop come to mind. This’ll be the first and last time a car company tells you to walk instead of drive, so probably worth taking a look. Check out the BMW Guggenheim Lab Fieldwork tour.

Friday, August 5, 3-5 pm: Don’t want to take a walk? Head to the BMW Guggenheim Lab for an etherial debate about sustainism, aka, how to waste nothing, want nothing and talk a lot. Very Zen until the conversation turns to nonstop loop about how “everything is subjective.” FreedomLab Future Studies’s Michiel Schwartz and Vincent Rump lead the discussion and public debate. The BMW Guggenheim Lab page.

The Boston ICA. Photo by Chris Peterson

Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston to have frosted windows obscuring the harbor. As viewers moved across the facade, they’d only be able to see through one pane at a time. The Boston mayor rejected the idea. Photo by Christopher Peterson.

Friday, August 5, 7-9 pm: Elizabeth Diller is The One when it comes to modern architecture. For the High Line in Chelsea, she reinvented a desolate street as an elevated urban walk in the woods. She and her firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro wanted to plant a tree in the roof of the elevator, but maintenance men said it would be a logistical nightmare. Imagine that, though: A tree going up and down in an elevator. Diller and her team put windows in Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art that face directly into the water. It lets you take a break from the busy, esoteric installations for some peace of mind. The firm also tore down Lincoln Center’s concrete face and put up a clear one so passersby can see the dancers. Check out the BMW Guggenheim Lab for a picture of Diller.

Saturdays, 10-11:15 am: I Meditate NY is hosting an hour and a half of yoga every Saturday morning. Straight forward: Sit and be silent. Go to the BMW Guggenheim Lab to practice.

Saturday, August 6, 2-4 pm: Another walking tour, this time on your own as you curate the sounds of the city. The Lab will teach you how to remix the honking and horning and trucking and shouting and overheard phone conversations. Check out the BMW Guggenheim Lab‘s ironic picture.

East Village Radio will live stream from the BMW Guggenheim Lab. Photo by Edward Keating | NY Mag

East Village Radio will live stream from the BMW Guggenheim Lab. Photo by Edward Keating | NY Mag

Saturday, August 6, 6-9 pm: East Village Radio gets a chance to play from the BMW Guggenheim Lab instead of its windowed studio on Second Ave. Live streaming from the EVILr.

Saturday, August 6, 7-8 pm: A razor, a shiny knife are essentially a group of pop-up magicians. A few months ago, they turned the L train into a restaurant and Saturday they’ll show you the black magic in clear water. More at the BMW Guggenheim Lab site.

BMW Guggenheim Lab is screening a film about Arthur Russell Sunday

Arthur Russell was called the funkiest white boy. The BMW Guggenheim Lab will screen a biopic about him Sunday.

Sunday, August 7, 6-8:30 pm: Sunday is movie day at the pop-up lab. They’ll be showing Last Address, a film about New York-based artists who died from AIDS. Then, BMW Guggenheim Lab is screening a biography about musician Arthur Russell who collaborated with Philip Glass, David Byrne, Gloria Gaynor and others. Read more about the 2008 film Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell.

Greg Spielberg | August 4 2011

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