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Art Happening Looks at E-Cigs

The sleepy cultural backwater between the Hudson and East Rivers, New York City, is finally following Minnesota's lead in presenting cutting edge gallery experiences linked with e-cigarettes.

Several weeks ago, this site reported on the innovative new gallery cum vape lounge, Infinite Vapor in the Twin Cities of the frozen north, Minneapolis and St. Paul. Well, not to be outdone for long, New York's New Museum in Lower Manhattan will be presenting a program February 22 that will bring together presentations by several art leaders on the popular recreational technology. The show will begin at 3 pm, and tickets are $10 for the general public, and $8 for museum members.

The city's slow uptake may be the result of ordinances pushed through recently by outgoing Mayor Mary Poppins, who banned public use of e-cigs a few months ago. Correction: It was Michael Bloomberg. Understandable error. 

The art resource Rhizome has commissioned artists to present, at the New Museum,  This is the ENDD (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Device): The E-Cigarette in Context a variety of performances, installations, talks, and goings-on that are certain to be of interest to vapers.

Rhizome is devoted to “art and ideas that create richer and more critical technology cultures,” and sees this event as an investigation of “influential, technological objects from interdisciplinary points of view, in the context of artistic research practice.” The New Museum, located at 235 Bowery, was founded in 1977, and calls itself “Manhattan's only dedicated contemporary art museum.” Founder Marcia Tucker, formerly curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, founded the museum because “new work by living artists was not easily assimilated into the conventional exhibition and collection structure of the traditional art museum.”

Matthew Dryhurst and Brian Rogers, artists, will give presentations on the history of the e-cigarette. Public Health specialist C. A. B. Fredericks will speak on the debates currently raging among health advocates over the fate of the product. Orit Gat, an art critic, will talk about vape shops and the French e-cigarette, E-Clopinette. Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal will present a performance on “psychological drives after the cigarette.” A collaborative “video intervention” by Pirate Utopia will be themed on “sculptural properties” of e-cigs. Other participants invited by Rhizome will include Dutch artists Pinar & Viola, gatekeeper Aaron David Ross (VapeCru Mix Tape), Holly Herndon, and others.

Rhizome is sponsored by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Poets & Writers, Inc.