Aside from its art exhibitions, MoMA PS1 has come to be known for its über popular summer party series, Warm Up. Over the past 15 years, Warm Up has gained a reputation for being one of the summer’s best daytime parties, a refuge from the city’s concrete heat every Saturday during NY’s most blistering season.
Aside from the killer line-ups, a major element that keeps people coming back each summer is the ever-changing look of PS1’s outdoor space. Each year, through the Young Architects program, the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 select a conceptual design that is brought to life in PS1’s courtyard. In the past, designers have transformed the space into an urban farm, bamboo wonderland, desert oasis, and clusters of hairy domes, among many other incarnations. This year, the program has outdone itself with one of its most ambitious projects to date, and one that not only augments the atmosphere of the space, but also the very air party-goers breathe.
Wendy is a massive structure by Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner of HWKN (who we previously interviewed about the structure), which is covered with titania nanoparticle-treated fabric—essentially a material that cleans the air that passes through it. She also spurts mist and even comes equipped with a water cannon that sprays refreshing blasts onto unsuspecting crowd members. Aside from being environmentally friendly (in fact, helpful), Wendy also provides shade, seating, and something beautiful to look at for party-goers, fostering one of the most delightful social experiences during hot New York summers. Like a giant, friendly organism, Wendy is less an installation, and more the life of the party.
But big and blue as she might be, the party’s not ALL about Wendy. Warm Up has always boasted a well-curated line-up of musicians, bringing together DJs of different styles and experimental acts of various ilk that complement the vibe of the party just right. The sets we’re most excited about for this weekend’s Warm Up are Jamie xx and Lemonade, the San Francisco dance-pop outfit whose new album Diver we’ve had on repeat since it dropped in May. We talked to Lemonade’s frontman Callan Clendenin about their upcoming gig this Saturday, and how it feels to share the party with Wendy.
Have you guys been to a PS1 Warm Up party before? If so, who did you see play? What was the most memorable thing about that party?
Callan Clendenin: I have been to like 15 Warm Ups. I love the festival vibe. I haven’t been this year though, so my first will be the one we play, but in the past I have seen friends play like Blondes or Delorean play with John Talabot DJing. When John Talabot was on, people started tossing those exercise balls (or Pilates balls as I have come to call them) and they spilled a thousand beers. They were just too heavy.
Do you have a favorite installation from years past? What would be your dream installation to play in/outside of?
I usually just take the whole party and all of its facets as one experience. It seems like most of the installations are purely visual, like a backdrop for the stage or maybe it’s that they are so interactive that I didn’t realize I was interacting. Last year’s hanging installation over the courtyard was really pretty. I took a photo or two with my phone. A dream installation to play in would be a bio-dome.
Do you think the museum crowd will be equipped to handle a Lemonade set?
We have played to a museum crowd and this is not that. This is a party crowd, so we may have to cut one or two of the ballads.
Do you have a secret weapon song that will just make them go nuts?
If we were DJing, we would have several. As far as our songs go, we are gonna see what happens with “Ice Water” into “Big Changes.” That usually works In most rooms, but if it doesn’t we always have “Big Weekend.”
Have you been to PS1 to see Wendy yet? What did you think of it?
I haven’t, but Alex has, so I asked him. He said it squirts water or something. He was probably texting when he walked past it.
Yeah, she periodically fires a water cannon at the beer line? How will you compete with that?
Beer cannon at the water line? Beer backpack? Señor Frog costume? I have like two days to think about this.
How do you feel about sharing the crowd’s attention with Wendy?
Shit… I dunno. Jealous?
Three words you’d say to the folks waiting on line outside to entice them.
U want to.
If you’re in New York, check out Warm Up this Saturday, August 4th at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City. In addition to Wendy and Lemonade, another major reason to go is that Creator and all around young legend Jamie xx is headlining the party. Full music line-up below, and tickets here. Doors open at 2 PM, music starts at 3!
Jamie xx / Young Turks / London
Pearson Sound / Hessle Audio / United Kingdom
Lemonade / True Panther / Brooklyn, NY
Sinjin Hawke / Pelican Fly / Barcelona
Zora Jones / Pelican Fly / Barcelona
Featuring a performance by Miguel / Bystorm / RCA Records Artist / Los Angeles, CA
Photos by Matthew Septimus.