Photo: Warm Up. Image courtesy of MoMA PS1.
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Warm Up, MoMA PS1’s pioneering outdoor music series. Every Saturday now through September 2, the famed Brooklyn institution will host a stellar line up of artists, performers, and DJs who turn the open-air concrete yard into the flyest day party in New York.
The Warm Up, which runs from noon until 9:00 in the evening, is held rain or shine. This year’s line up of emerging and established artists include Cardi B, ASAP Ferg, Venus X, François K, DJ SPINNA, Roni Size, Mike Q, Jackmaster, John Maus, Moor Mother, Laurel Halo, ACTRESS, RP Boo, and collaborations between Total Freedom and Ryan Trecartin as well as inc. with Ian Isiah. Additional artists will be announced throughout the summer.
For those unable to attend, Warm Up Radio will broadcast live from the party, providing feature coverage of the artists, curators, and members of New York’s creative community that make this the ultimate summer art event.
In an interview for Creative New York, Warm Up founders P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) Founder Alanna Heiss and MoMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach speak about how they got the part started.
Heiss shares the advice she received from ‘80s New York nightlife impresario, Rudolf Pieper (Danceteriam Palladiun, The Tunnel, and more): “Rudolf wisely said, ‘You have to think about P.S.1 like a nightclub. You can’t stay hot for more than one, two years. After that the novelty wears off and you have to figure out a way to find your audience. Because you will never really be able to compete with the big museums, think about what you can offer that’s different and new, and find a way to attract your own loyal audience, and not someone else’s.’”
This approach gave them the freedom to conceptualize something entirely new: a party that recognized the community of artists in a space they regularly convened, replacing the formalities of the museum-going experience with the live energy of a club combined with the nostalgic pleasures of the concrete playground.
Biesenbach notes, “For me, the impetus for Warm Up related much more to how I experienced the art scene in Europe. In Berlin in the ’90s, there was not much difference between the club scene and the art scene….The exhibitions I did back then were often collaborations with artists — the artists ran nightclubs, the musicians and the artists mingled without hesitation. It was all one thing. So I remember wanting to create something in a similar spirit, that could function as an urban beach for people who didn’t have a house in the Hamptons or on Long Island, who wanted to have the same type of fun but in the city. To have a drink in the middle of the day, hear music, see art, to go somewhere before you go out for the night…Warm Up was the place to go before you went to a club, to warm up for the rest of the evening.”
Together, Heiss and Biesenbach brought a new generation of people in the art scene together in a way that recalled the spirit of New York in the 1960s and ‘70s—before AIDS had shut things down in a devastating way.
Over the past 20 years, Warm Up has hosted more than 700 artists, including pop artists Solange, Jamie XX, and Grimes, experimental musicians Arca, Black Dice, and Four Tet, and legendary DJs like DJ Premier, Ritchie Hawtin, and Kim Ann Foxman. In doing so it has set the bar for the role of the museum in contemporary life, making it more than a place for the appreciation of art and transforming it into a stage where people can connect, vibe, and have fun.
$16 MoMA Members
$13 MoMA PS1+ Members
Member advance tickets are available by calling (718) 784-2084 and choosing extension 0 during museum hours.
Day Of Tickets:
$18 Students with valid ID
$20 MoMA Members
$15 MoMA PS1+ Members
Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Online, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Aperture Online, and Feature Shoot. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.