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September 08, 2023

Asian Arts Initiative's new augmented reality exhibition reimagines an abandoned patch of the city’s streetscape

“Invasive Species" project will demonstrate the potential of art to assist in understanding public infrastructure

Art Exhibitions

Content sponsored by AAI-Native-090923-InvasiveSpecies

Limited - Asian Arts Initiative - Invasive Species Courtesy/Asian Arts Initiative

Asian Arts Initiative will present “Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives,” a series of free exhibitions and events that invites visitors to take a new and different look at this unused rail line and its potential for biodiversity and ecological benefits in the heart of Philadelphia. The free, mixed reality project, presented in collaboration with eo Studio and 2022 Artists-in-Residence Dr. Ashley Gripper and Sonia Galiber, runs from Sept. 15 from Oct. 15 at the 18th Street pedestrian bridge above the Cut, a sub-street level, open-air green space that runs parallel to Callowhill Street from North Broad Street to 18th Street.

Using exhibits, performances, a community block party, and workshops, “Invasive Species” will demonstrate the tremendous potential of art to assist in understanding public infrastructure, the beauty of unseen corners of the city, the deep connection to the land people share despite being displaced in developed landscapes, and the role we can play as cultural producers in climate mitigation. Visit the “Invasive Species” event website to learn more about the project and to register.

Schedule of Free Events:

Opening Celebration

Sept. 15 from 6-8 p.m.
The opening Celebration of the Gallery Exhibition will take place at Asian Arts Initiative, located at 1219 Vine Street. Artworks inspired by the "Invasive Species" project will be on display. The artists will be present and refreshments will be served. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Augmented Reality Outdoor Exhibition

Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 | Visit anytime
An interactive public installation on the 18th Street Bridge that invites visitors to use augmented reality on their mobile devices as they cross-pollinate the Cut’s diverse plant life with narratives about cultural and physical migration.

Gallery Exhibition

Sept. 15 – Dec. 9 | Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 2-6 p.m.
Artworks inspired by the “Invasive Species” project will be on display at the Asian Arts Initiative Storefront Gallery located at 1219 Vine Street. The exhibit will feature sculptures, soundscapes, and immersive environments that continue the personal narratives and migration stories told by community members.

Virtual Avatar Workshop

Sept. 28 from 7-8 p.m. on Zoom
Learn how to create avatars like the ones in the “Invasive Species” mixed reality. Eto Otitigbe will teach you how to use the tools to create your own avatar! A zoom link will be sent to those who register closer to the event date. Pre-registration is required.

Block Party

Oct. 7 from 2-6:30 p.m.
Asian Arts Initiative's annual Block Party will take place at Matthias Baldwin Park, to celebrate the launch of the Invasive Species installations this fall and to bring together members of the neighboring communities. The Block Party will be an opportunity for the public to meet the lead artists, and to enjoy music, poetry, dance offerings, with local food and drinks. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Live Performances

Oct. 7 & 8 at 7 p.m.
Attend a special live and interactive performance at the Cut. An Urban Cypher Performance including music by Amanda Kerdahi and Zane Rodulfo, mixed reality and projection mapping by Eto Otitigbe and eo Studio will reverberate and illuminate the Cut. Viewed from 18th Street Bridge and Community College of Philadelphia Main Garage (Enter from 18th Street). Pre-registration is encouraged.

Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives is funded by Our Town Grant of the National Endowment for the Arts and the William Penn Foundation. For more information on the project, click here.