Interactive Christmas Season installation coming to NYC this week

A picture of a scene from Piehole's Christmas Mountain installation. 
A picture of a scene from Piehole’s Christmas Mountain installation. 
Credit: Shore Fire Media

Piehole, the NYC-based live arts collective, will be hosting its free interactive Christmas installation, known as Christmas Mountain, opening Thursday, Dec. 1.

The installation is an interactive holiday story that will roll out in a daily, “advent calendar” window display featuring animatronics, embedded videos, and original music on a handcrafted diorama. It will be viewable in-person in the windows of The Greene Space at WNYC Studios in SoHo / Hudson Square.

“I want Christmas Mountain to be something that a kid sees, and 20 years later, they wonder if it was a dream,” said Piehole designer Jeff Wood.

To create Christmas Mountain, Piehole brought together the work of over 20 artists from different disciplines, backgrounds and aesthetics, who convey the delightful, layered, and complex meaning of Christmas, which drew inspiration from a range of Christmas traditions throughout history.

“Our goal at The Greene Space is to create inclusive experiences that spark curiosity, joy, and unexpected connections,” said Jennifer Keeney Sendrow, executive producer, The Greene Space.

The story takes place in a snowy hamlet populated by mice at the base of Christmas Mountain, which is topped by an antenna that funnels signals from the “Christmas-sphere” into the town and onto the mice’s TVs.

This year, the signal is on the fritz, and one grumpy mouse – the story’s hero – must descend to the center of the mountain to fix it so that the town can fulfill their beloved pastime of watching TV on the Winter Solstice. The clock is ticking! Along the way, our plucky hero encounters adventure at every turn, including a visit to a magical costume shop, a ride with a benevolent bus full of nuns, and broadcasts from an alternate Crust-mas dimension.

On opening night, the celebration will feature the debut of the first episode and a brief panel discussion on the history of Christmas celebrations in NYC that inspired the project, along with festive treats.

The story will be narrated by Brian Lehrer, who hosts The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. New episodes of the story will be released every day next month until Dec. 21, and remain on display until Jan. 9 of next year.

Those who wish to attend the opening night in-person can find more information and RSVP here: https://thegreenespace.org/event/piehole-opening-night-celebration-holiday/. Those who wish to attend virtually can watch here: https://xmasmountain.hotglue.me/?comingsoon.

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