Huge new immersive art venue opens in Greenpoint next month

ArtsDistrict Brooklyn, also known as AD/BK, is a new immersive arts venue opening in Greenpoint at 25 Franklin Street in July.

The 25,000 square foot space is the former home of the House of Vans concert space, which closed in 2018.

To celebrate the opening of the venue, which is sure to be an integral part of New York’s greatest devotion to all things experiential, AD/BK will host the US premiere of Unlimited AIa 70-minute show that debuted at the Atelier des Lumières museum in Paris.

Two other shows will be mounted on site simultaneously: Flight and Session. Both created by London-based company Darkfield, the two immersive audio experiences will be presented in total darkness inside custom 40ft shipping containers. How cool?

In addition to its function as an exhibition space, the complex will house a daytime cafe which will also be marketed as a pre-show destination. Visitors will enjoy free Wi-Fi and an open-air patio space with outdoor seating.

Also on the program: an NFT gallery where people can buy works from shows on the main stage. AD/BK could therefore become the very first destination in New York to mix two popular trends: NFTs and immersive art.

It’s not the only experiential place to hit the town this summer. Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, New York’s oldest savings bank, is being transformed into a giant new center for immersive, custom-designed art experiences dubbed the Hall of Lights (yes, it’s connected to the iteration space French mentioned above). Although the latter destination is not yet open to the public, those interested can already purchase tickets for the inaugural exhibition, which will focus on Gustav Klimt, right here.

Creatives are betting big on experiences across the city, clearly identifying an audience craving for Things to do and To feel on, perhaps, places to go. Whether this was the result of a pandemic that forced us to abandon experiential events for nearly two years is, at this point, irrelevant. What is clear is that art, music, film, and even food-related endeavors now require something more to capture our collective attention.

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Wiley C. Thompson