NYFMF has long attempted to envision space as part of its initiative—artists need space in order to perform and produce. The organization’s Certificate of Incorporation states that its charitable purpose is to “establish and operate a location, platform, and community...for the benefit of underprivileged artists and creators in the film and music industries.” While the definition of “underprivileged'' in the arts remains a topic for a future post, it is with these ideas in mind that it began to speak to architects about designing a space that would be amenable for this purpose.
In addition to working with the City of New York to help develop affordable real estate in which to incubate talent, NYFMF has worked with the Yale Day of Service’s Architect is IN program, which connects professional architects with nonprofit causes.
One of the topics of conversation about space has concerned the idea of interactivity, in which the lines between audience and creator are blurred, or penetrated, by opening the walls between the two parties. By using technology to transmit the performance of the production to a separate screen, or by challenging the physical limitations of space itself, the process becomes more transparent by giving the audience the “superpower” of X-ray vision.
The key is to do this without hindering the sensitive and delicate creative process of the artists through the “Heisenbergian” practice of broadcasting it—and thereby changing its nature. However, highlighting and enhancing the symbiosis between the producer and recipient could spawn new forms of creative expression, which would be the intent of such a design—beyond the educational elements—and eliminate the “black box” nature of conventional audiovisual production.
The City of New York is pouring resources into the development of large space for media and entertainment purposes, and NYFMF commends these efforts while also recognizing the discrepancies between these larger-scale initiatives and the individual struggles that so many independent artists in New York City—and throughout the country—face. The type of financial support that artists need to develop their careers is very different from the type of financial support that real estate developers need to erect an edifice.
The organization looks forward to working with the City as well as corporations to address this divide.