Immersive Art Installation Transforms Abandoned Brooklyn Brewery


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Immersive Art Installation Transforms Abandoned Brooklyn Brewery

The Ulmer Brewery in Bushwick was once one of the largest and most prolific beer makers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, landmarked brick buildings of the former Ulmer complex have sat abandoned for decades. Now, on the brink of a major restoration led by NYC-based architecture firm DXA Studio that will bring new life to the old structures, an immersive art installation and performance pay homage to the building’s past. This weekend is your last chance to experience Ulmer: Conveyance inside the dormant spaces of the abandoned Brooklyn brewery before they transform once again!

History is everywhere and when we create art, we create new opportunities to connect with our city, our history, and each other,” says Untapped New York’s Artist-in-Residence and creator of Ulmer: Conveyance Aaron Asis. This installation activates the dormant upper levels of the former brewhouse with a multi-room art experience that connects the building’s past, present, and future. Walking through the empty spaces that were once bustling with activity, you’ll see the physical remnants of the building’s former uses as you mingle with fellow onlookers.

Ulmer: Conveyance reminds us that art can accentuate the beauty of shared experiences and under-appreciated histories,” Asis says. The Ulmer Brewery was designated a New York City Landmark in 2010, the first brewery in the city to receive this status, but its story is not widely known. After the brewery closed during Prohibition, parts of the Ulmer complex fell into disrepair while others found new uses. The larger spaces were used for manufacturing until the 1940s, and an office building was converted into a home in the 1980s. With this new installation, activity, and life have returned to the long-vacant buildings.

As with the history of the building, the installation is multi-layered and complex. Asis notes that as you walk through the experience there are a few hidden surprises to discover! Another piece of the experience is Conveyance: Below, an ambient performance written by Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers. This part of the experience will take you deep below street level to the underground beer vaults of the abandoned Brooklyn brewery. As you descend into the vaults, the oldest of which dates back over 150 years, you’ll hear the voices of master brewer William Ulmer and the brewery’s architect Theobald Englehardt as music fills the air. The performance is based on true, tragic, events that took place inside the vaults in the 1870s.

This Saturday, April 22nd is your last chance to experience Ulmer:Conveyance and Conveyance:Below! The event is free but registration is required. You can reserve your spot here. Check out more photos from the opening weekend below!