Pop Up SLAM & Façade


Funding Received: 2012
Brooklyn, NY
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
December 18, 2012

The STREB Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAM) is using its ArtPlace grant to expand its unique programming offsite, creating “Pop Up” SLAM adaptable action zones which can occupy a myriad of public spaces including parks, vacant lots and parking lots. This project will also incorporate the design by Norwegian architecture firm Snohetta of a new façade for STREB’s Brooklyn studio. Susan Meyers and Cathy Einhorn, co-managing directors of STREB, bring us this update:

EINHORN AND MEYERS: As of this post, we are now three quarters through a scheduled four week home season which occur biannually and are called SLAM Shows.

While planning for a November 29rd opening, Elizabeth and her team of collaborators were successful in developing creative solutions to adapt FORCES, a show designed originally for large proscenium venues to fit SLAM’s intimate space while retaining the production’s full breadth and scope (see November blog post).

In addition to presenting a fully realized production, SLAM home seasons are a vehicle for realizing added value on multiple fronts. We developed these rules of engagement to guide the process:

Rules for Engagement:

- Make an event a destination for more than one reason
- Immerse with strangers
- Re-examine the issue of scale
- Question the frozen real estate of audience seating
- Embrace Interruption
- Design Audience Experience
- What can you sell, who wants what you have?
- Question necessary duration
- Noise/keep outside in/inside out
- Do whatever you want whenever you can
- Have all ages/races/classes/together for common purpose
- Change use groups
- Multitask
- Forget the idea that events have some intended meaning
- Loose idea of ordained behavior

PHOTO: Fifteen tweens (ages 10 – 12) from the St. Nicholas Preservation Corp. and their mentors came to SLAM for an in-depth experience which included a “backstage” tour and conversation with STREB’s technical director, VJ/DJ and Director of Education and Community Engagement while watching the set up for the evening’s performance. This was followed by a pizza dinner in SLAM’s lobby where lively discussion continued between the St. Nick’s kids and SLAM front-of-house staff (house manager, box office and concessions) and STREB’s co-managing directors. After setting the stage and giving some context, the kids took their seats for the show. Following the 90 minute performance during which dancers tested the limits of physical potential – endurance, strength, timing, risk – the St. Nick’s group all took part in SLAM Inclusive, STREB’s unique post-performance audience participation experience during which they had the opportunity to fly on SLAM’s trapeze, jump on mini-tramps, balance on lyra hoops and learn PopAction.