Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a beast all its own. It is a neighborhood consisting of old ethnic populations and twenty-somethings with liberal arts educations. It is as close to Manhattan as you can be without actually being in Manhattan. Also, the entire waterfront is composed of abandoned warehouses.
Consider these elements — the twenty-somethings and abandoned warehouses, that is — and consider what similar situations have done for the arts. When rent is cheap[er] and space is available, people are going to get creative. It is thus that in Williamsburg many galleries and project centers have sprung up.
Secret Project Robot is a three-floor gallery space a block from the east river. The emphasis behind Secret Project Robot is community, whether it is the artists or the exhibit itself, the building as a whole is meant to be a work of art. However, for all of its spirit, SPR properly demonstrates that function still reigns over form.
There is a childish whimsy (sometimes illustrated with very grown-up themes) projected by a flip book.
The Little Cakes Flip Book Show is a very charming concept; artists are encouraged to submit their own, original flip book. It can be made of any material and illustrate any subject. What is immediately apparent is that no matter how creative a flip book, no matter how clever the concept or beautiful the illustration, if you can’t actually flip the book, something key is lost. Similar things could be noted of the set up for the event: the books were displayed on barrels of varying heights with lamps hanging over each barrel at a height corresponding to that of the barrel. This looked very nice, however, the barrels made it difficult to manouevre oneself about the displays, and taller people had difficulty adjusting to the height of the lamps, sometimes having to crouch to look at a flip book.
For these design flaws, the Flip Book Show is still a delightful way to pass a half hour or so. There is a childish whimsy (sometimes illustrated with very grown-up themes) projected by a flip book, and Secret Project Robot does do a wonderful job embodying that sense of community it strives for. Where else would you find hipsters looking at cartoons while they drink champgne and eat cup cakes on a Thursday night?