9 Events to Get Excited About at the New Museum’s Ideas City Festival

Check out a swimming pool that filters New York river water.

Ideas City, the New Museum’s annual festival, starts today and runs through this weekend. Bringing together artists, writers, and architects along with civic leaders and academics, this year’s conference takes on the theme of “The Invisible City.” Participants will address questions about how urbanists and architects can account for future developments like climate change; how to balance privacy and Big Data; and how society can best account for populations like the homeless and illegal immigrants.

Here are nine events you ought to be excited about. Some require registration or tickets, so check the conference website for availability.

1. Panel Discussion on “Full Disclosure and the Morality of Information”
Artist Trevor Paglen joins ACLU technologist Christopher Soghoian, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jillian C. York, and McGill art history professor Gabriella Coleman to talk about how the endless data we all generate—when we send text messages, stream music, or ride public transport—can properly be kept private.
Thursday, 3 p.m., at the Great Hall of Cooper Union

2. Drone Painting Performance by Katsu
Street artist Katsu made waves when he tagged a Calvin Klein billboard using a drone (see Artist Katsu Vandalizes Kendall Jenner’s Calvin Klein Billboard With Graffiti Drone). See more hands-free vandalism at this event courtesy of Katsu along with artist Addie Wagenknecht, NEW INC member Dan Moore, and Becky Stern of Adafruit.
Thursday, 8 p.m., 231 Bowery

3. EMA Performance
Erika M. Anderson, better known as EMA, has earned kudos from Pitchfork, which says that it’s “hard not to cringe” at her “on-the-nose” observations about living in a mediated world. Her performance is billed as including “surreptitious portrait sketches writ large in an immersive projection environment.”
Friday, 8 p.m., at 231 Bowery

4. Screening, Basim Magdy, The Dent
If you liked the New Museum’s just-closed Triennial (see The New Museum Triennial Offers a Dazzling and Dystopian Vision of the Future), you may have noticed Basim Magdy’s 19-minute video The Dent, which the museum credits with “a sobering critique of reality”; check out this screening, introduced by New Museum curator Lauren Cornell, who organized the Triennial along with artist Ryan Trecartin.
Friday, 9 p.m., at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, 268 Mulberry St.

5. BattleFest
Dancers like Dre Don, Havoc, Koolaid and RudeBoy will bring street dance styles to a heated competition under the aegis of New York nonprofit Battlefest; see some of their stylings, where dancers seem to defy the presence of their own skeletons, on their YouTube channel.
Friday, 9 p.m., St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, 268 Mulberry St.

6. AIRBNB Pavilion: Stay With Me, Presented by Rhizome
How does domesticity change in the post-Airbnb age? Salon participants will discuss this and related issues in a rented apartment; you can catch the livestream or join the chat at rhizome.org.
Saturday, 12-6 p.m., livestreamed at University Settlement, 273 Bowery

7. ArtBuilt Mobile Studios
Everyone knows that space in New York is at a premium and more expensive than ever. Check out these movable work spaces for artists and others, designed by two nonprofits in collaboration, which aim to support the creative sector.
Saturday, 12-6 p.m., around the Bowery

8. Internet Infrastructure Walking Tour with Ingrid Burrington
It’s commonplace to say that the Internet is an immaterial realm, but it’s of course supported by a vast infrastructure of server farms, cables, and satellites. Artist Ingrid Burrington (who is hilarious on Twitter) will teach you how to identify fiber optic cables, cell towers, and other physical manifestations of the Internet.
Saturday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., starting at 231 Bowery

9. +POOL
Ever wanted to swim in New York’s rivers but didn’t because you were too afraid you’d get genetically mutated by the pollution? +POOL aims to build water-filtering swimming pools that will float in New York’s own rivers and filter the waters they float in, allowing swimmers to enjoy chemical-free summer fun.
Saturday, 3-6 p.m., around the Bowery

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