Just Do Art: July 9, 2015 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Just Do Art: July 9, 2015

The Rubin Museum of Art’s block party transforms W. 17th St. into a hub of Himalayan feats and flavors. July 19, rain or shine. Photo by Michael Seto.

The Rubin Museum of Art’s block party transforms W. 17th St. into a hub of Himalayan feats and flavors. July 19, rain or shine. Photo by Michael Seto.

RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART BLOCK PARTY

Culture, contemplation, physical fitness and…ice cream? It’s a perfectly logical combination, at least for one afternoon — when our favorite museum takes their celebration of Himalayan art and ideas off the wall and into the street. Using the Rubin’s “Becoming Another: The Power of Masks” exhibition as inspiration, this family-friendly block party will incorporate the theme of transformation into its activities and performances. Hands-on creative endeavors include making masks, prayer beads, bird rattles and origami. Dress in a manner that embraces the “transformation” theme and you might win the costume contest (or at least emerge from the photo booth with a keepsake). Inside, there will be museum tours and a gallery search (like a scavenger hunt, but with art-spotting instead of collecting). Outside, between family yoga lessons, watch performances from Ajna Dance, Brooklyn Raga Massive and the Tibetan Community School of NY and NJ. All activities are free, with Himalayan dishes from Café Serai and ice cream from the Van Leeuwen truck available for purchase.

Rain or shine on Sun. July 19, 14 p.m. on W. 17th St. btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves. (and inside the museum, located on that block). For more info, call 212-620-5000 or visit rubinmuseum.org/blockparty.

By no means now and forever: Shawn Wickens’ cat-themed atrocity has one performance only, at July 18’s “Stupid Jokes & Rotten Theater.” Photo by Aniek Ivens.

By no means now and forever: Shawn Wickens’ cat-themed atrocity has one performance only, at July 18’s “Stupid Jokes & Rotten Theater.” Photo by Aniek Ivens.

STUPID JOKES & ROTTEN THEATER

Many strive to create the perfect live entertainment experience, but few manage to clear the bar. So why not embrace the opposite end of the scale, and excel at that? This is the bold, if somewhat misguided, mission of the Bad Theater Fest — an annual October disaster that encourages artists to create masterpieces of mock-mediocrity. But a town with so much stellar anti-talent can’t contain itself to one event per year. That’s why the Bad folks have created “Stupid Jokes & Rotten Theater” — a showcase of comedy, song and dance that has all the hypnotic pull of a 20-car highway pileup.

Performances include monologist Shawn Wickens’ “anti-house cat short performance” and a misguided mariachi band ministering to sad audience members. Those who emerge from the experience without debilitating psychological scars (and the delusion that they can do better), take heed: the Bad Theater Fest is accepting applications for this fall’s multi-weekend travesty. The deadline is Aug. 15. Visit badtheaterfest.com to see if you have what it takes to be an exceptionally atrocious producer, performer or filmmaker.

Sat., July 18, 8–9:15 p.m. at the Treehouse Theater (2nd floor of 154 W. 29th St. btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). Tickets are $7. 

Hayes Greenfield and Ikuo Nakamura collaborate on an improvisational blend of music and film, through July 30 at the 13th Street Repertory Theater. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Hayes Greenfield and Ikuo Nakamura collaborate on an improvisational blend of music and film, through July 30 at the 13th Street Repertory Theater. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

MINIMUS 3D ARKESTRA

Strictly speaking, it’s not a film screening or a well-rehearsed concert or an improvisational excursion. But that’s not to say this categorization-defying collaborative endeavor doesn’t draw from all of those elements. Supplying its audience with stereoscopic viewing glasses — and taking its name in part from the ensemble led by Saturn native and avant-garde jazz great Sun Ra — “Minimus 3D Arkestra” is a visual-sonic experience created in real time by globetrotting Japanese filmmaker Ikuo Nakamura and fellow saxophonist, composer Hayes Greenfield.

The kindred tech enthusiasts, who eschew computer-generated images and pre-recorded music in favor of software allowing them to alter the tempo of on-screen images and layer live acoustic and electronic music, create a different experience at each performance. An eight-movement suite asks questions about information overload, environmental shifts and the loss of tribal cultures — while taking viewers on a sweeping tour of the Aurora Borealis, the subways of NYC, the canyons of Utah and the vistas of Easter Island.

Tues., Wed. & Thurs. through July 30, 8 p.m. at the 13th Street Repertory Theater (50 West 13th St. btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). For tickets ($18, $13 for students, seniors), call 866-811-4111 or visit 13thstreetrep.org. Artist info at minimus3Darkestra.com.

–By Scott Stiffler