Forbidden City, artistic opportunity, call for participation

Winkel & Balktick Present…

STRANDED III: The Forbidden City
Saturday, September 4, 2010

Open Meetings & Socials: 7/22, 8/5, 8/26

Stranded: The Forbidden City is a one-night foray into a magical metropolis of imagination, hidden inside an enormous warehouse in Brooklyn.  We are seeking installations, activities, performances, and games to entertain and delight the City’s tourists.  Projects that are all of those things at once are ideal.  Volunteers of all stripes are also welcome.

As the name suggests, the theme is an exploration of cities, past, present and future, real and imagined.  Of course, the title is a double-entendre, suggesting both Beijing’s dynasty-era grandeur, and also a libertine red light district.  Artists are free to explore either or both meanings, or simply run the laundromat of their dreams.

This is the third annual Stranded event.  It started on Labor Day weekend 2008 at the Brewery warehouse in Bushwick as a gathering for those unable to attend Burning Man.  Last year the event expanded to a 26,000 square foot warehouse palace in Sunset Park, and began attracting a wider variety of artists and attendees.  This year, we are going to continue the trend with more space, art and friends and raise the bar for creative revelry to skyscraper heights.


This should provide you more information than you need about how to participate in Stranded 2010.

If your project requires a stipend, please apply no later than August 6.  The final deadline is August 20.  The submission process is detailed below, after the answers to all of the questions you have. Please understand that we may not be able to accommodate all submissions.

If you want to participate, but aren’t sure how, please fill out a volunteer form using the link below.

Quick submission form:
Quick volunteer form:
Art questions:
Volunteer questions:
General inquiries:


We will be holding open meetings and venue walkthroughs on Thursday, July 22, Thursday, August 5 and Thursday, August 26 from 7:30pm-10pm.  These are a great place to meet people, throw around and ideas, and have a good time.  Food and drink will be served.  The meeting location is in Dumbo.

RSVP to with the date of the meeting you with to attend.


Artists are invited to construct an interactive establishment that one might find in The Forbidden City.  Projects that have an activity, performance other social interaction are strongly encouraged.

Take a familiar city institution or feature, and give it a creative twist.  Examples of potential establishments include post offices, jails, bus stops, libraries, banks, train stations, DMVs, parks, laundromats, stores and boutiques, theaters and entertainment venues, voter polling station, restaurants and cafes, courthouses, spas, galleries and of course, offices.

Standalone or roving sculpture and installation is also welcome, but priority may be given to establishments as described above.


We will have a performance venue at the party.  If you have a stage act– musical, theatrical, comical or unclassifiable, please apply and include photos, audio or other samples of your work.  There is a limited amount of stage time, so please understand that we may not be able to accommodate all performances, or feature length works.

Note that we do not accept solicitations for DJs, but if you send us mixes, we will listen to them.


A strong D.I.Y. ethic is important. We can provide the space for your project, a crowd to enjoy it, transportation assistance and a modest stipend, but it’s ultimately up to you to get it together, make it happen and clean it up afterwards.

Establishments may be anywhere from 100 square feet to 2,000 square feet.  While we welcome sound installations, we already have a live music and dance music venue and are not seeking others.  Your project should not be likely to combust, injure or kill anyone.  In general, we do not allow projects to charge money or solicit donations.


We can pay for the cost of approved projects. These are guaranteed to be reimbursed, even if the event is not profitable. If the event is profitable, we tip out on top of this. Consider $0 – $500 the effective range for requests. We can also provide transportation assistance.  If you need a stipend, please apply ASAP.

Each project is a unique little snowflake, and we evaluate stipends on a case-by-case basis. Small budgets are easier to accommodate than large ones. On the other hand, if you have the greatest idea we’ve ever seen and a solid track record, we may be OK with splurging.

Note that in order to qualify for reimbursements for materials, you must keep your receipts and submit them to us in a timely manner.


If you have questions, contact the W&B creative director Eva at

Please fill out this form:

To make a submission, you will need to know the following information:

* Your name, and the names of other artists involved
* Your phone number
* A description of your project
* A detailed, itemized budget for materials and costs
* Setup duration
* Breakdown duration
* Will it require rigging from the ceiling or a wall?
* Will it make a mess?
* Might it accidentally injure, maim, or kill anyone?
* Floorspace requirements
* Electrical requirements
* Lighting requirements
* Any special placement requests

You will hear from us within three business days with questions, suggestions, etc. Sometimes we need to know more, have suggestions, or just need time to decide among many worthy proposals.

It may take up to ten business days to approve or decline your submission. If this wait is a problem, please let us know up front.


Mark Winkel & Kevin Balktick are a pair of Brooklyn-based event producers. They met in 2005 when they became neighbors in a block-sized live/work warehouse in Dumbo. Over the course of five years, they have produced 12 feature events. In that time, their vision and following has grown from a single loft to cavernous warehouses.

Along with a dedicated community of artists, crew and volunteers, they transform mundane urban spaces into immersive fantasy environments. Their tools are larger-than-life installation art, extravagant costumes, decadent themes, surreal performances and action-packed dancefloors.

Their 2010 New Year’s Eve production, Transmutation , was held in a 30,000 square foot warehouse and was attended by 2,500 people. In February 2010, they were featured in a New York Times article about creative Brooklyn nightlife.

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One Response to “Forbidden City, artistic opportunity, call for participation”

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