Ever since it was revealed that Vice was the company taking over a chunk of real estate that houses DIY venues and other small businesses, there’s been a little bit of anger from the creative class towards Vice. Even given the temporary nature of DIY venues, it seems getting pushed out by a media company so closely affiliated with alternative culture was a bit much.
Not content with just ripping up old copies of Vice, a musical collective is planning on a concert/public demonstration outside Vice’s current Williamsburg headquarters today, with the stated aim of levitating the building into the East River. And just when we thought Williamsburg was getting boring.
In case the tactic of levitating a building sounds familiar to you, today’s concert, which the organizer Matt Mottel of the musical collective Talibam! isn’t calling a protest but instead “an act of public assembly,” is based on the 1967 protest in which the Yippies claimed they were going to levitate the Pentagon and end the Vietnam War. Since that war is long over, the stated aim of levitating Vice HQ into the East River is to spark “creative re-flowering of the Williamsburg Waterfront Communities” according to the assembly’s Facebook page.
Mottel insists he has no beef with Vice that can’t be bridged, noting that Talibam! has been featured on Noisey before and that the collective can stay on good terms with the company. So short of actually dumping the building in the river, Mottel told us he hopes the assembly creates:
an open dialog between Vice, the directly displaced live/work communities in the Kent ave building, the long term Latino communities being displaced via the 2005 Williamsburg Rezoning and the greater New York city artistic community that Vice has cannibalized with their take over of that building
Mottel would like to see Vice create a performance space and production studios for the artistic community displaced by their expansion, an offer he thinks the company owes the city after taking a $6.5 million tax break to stay in Williamsburg. As for Vice, they don’t seem very worried about being levitated, at least judging by comments the company’s employees have made on the event’s Facebook page.
If you’d like to try to help levitate the Vice HQ, or at the very least see it happen, Talibam! will be meeting outside the building, at 90 North 11th Street, at 2:34pm for a rehearsal, before unleashing the full concert at 3:35pm. If you can’t make it, don’t worry, because Mottel told us “there are many more actors in the current season that need to be called out.”