Interactive art takes over Canal Street

Exhibits to rotate monthly for year

Canal Street, with its hordes of tourists, bold hawkers and rumbling delivery trucks, is not far off Times Square in terms of its ability to make locals cringe. But a new project called “ON CANAL: A District for New Ideas” hopes to draw New Yorkers back to the area. For one year, 20 otherwise empty storefronts on Canal Street, between West Broadway and Broadway, will host experiential art and kinetic installations, including virtual reality and LED “video paintings,” which will change monthly. The works by artists at Wallplay (a global art project) and Offline Projects (a new media experiential series) will cover a range of topics and genres from fashion to wellness, as well as music, dance and even cryptocurrencies and alternative uses of blockchain. For the first month, through Sept. 1, here are some of what you’ll see:

“Yellow” at 357 Canal St.

Really think about the color yellow as you walk through this installation of yellow flags, dancing inflatable men and strobe lights by Adrian Yu of Offline Project.

“New Talismans + MND//BDY” at 325Canal St.

If technology was magic, it would look like this. DiMoDA uses digital tech like magick tools to create immersive environments like VR headsets and floor-to-ceiling projections.

“Caroline Larsen: Flower Shop” at 359 Canal St.

Enter this colorful space by Caroline Larsen (who shows art at The Hole gallery on Bowery), who uses fake flowers to curtain and nestle the empty space for a flower shoplike feel. Art depicting mountains and fiery car crashes peppered throughout serve as an in-yourface confrontation.

“Threshold” at 329 Canal St.

This is Lebanese artist Lara Atallah’s first major exhibition in New York City. From 20 Polaroids of Mediterranean shorelines to three large, suspended cyanotypes and eight small “sun prints” made from pebbles from various beaches, “Threshold” by Atallah and Anne Spalter is meant to bring the dangers refugees face when they cross the Mediterranean to mind.

“KidSuper: Open Mic” at 323 Canal St.

This is a life-size claymation theater by KidSuper that will host open mic and comedy events daily. The theater itself was inspired by the one from the artist Russ’ “Cherry Hill” music video.

The installations are open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 7 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Thursdays.