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An immersive digital art show has transformed this historic NYC landmark
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City? A new immersive pop-up art exhibit in the Financial District might be able to help your dreams come to life, literally. Entertainment company Moment Factory has partnered with Cipriani to transform the historic Cunard Building (now Cipriani 25 Broadway) into a colorful walk-through digital art installation called SuperReal. Using special technology, Moment Factory has mapped the ornate interior design of the Grand Hall to transform your surroundings and transport you to different dreamlike destinations. One minute you could be daydreaming in a fairylike flower garden and the next you're caught in an epic thunderstorm or thrown into the middle of a rager with massive balloons and loud techno music. Inside the exhibit, there's a maze of different interactive installations, which respond to your movements. (Ever wonder what you would look like as a giant blue paint blob? Now you can find out!) During the show, people are encouraged to relax on bean bags or play with balloons that also react with the 360-degree show. The floor is a gigantic mirror which enhances the special effects. (So plan your outfit accordingly in case the person standing next to you decides to look down for a moment.) Ultimately, SuperReal is meant to “attract an eclectic group of people who are willing to set their minds and senses free." If you’re bored of the usual art pop-ups around the city, this is definitely a different type of experience
You can walk through a forest of light on the Manhattan waterfront
If the Seaport District wasn't already on your list of summer destinations, the waterfront neighborhood just got a glow up thanks to a free light-up immersive art exhibit. The installation, titled The Nautilus, consists of nearly 100 interactive poles that react to touch or sound with a vivid audio and light display. Gone are the days of signs reading, “Please do not touch the art.” You’re not only allowed to touch this exhibit, you’re encouraged. The system works like a giant space-age musical instrument, using sensors and smart technology to respond to each visitor’s unique touch. Grasp one pole, and you’ll hear a single-note melody with accompanying visual display. But touch multiple poles to layer tones from an 8-note scale, orchestrating a symphony of futuristic lights and sounds. The constellation-shaped sensory experience, created by NYC design studio SOFTLab, is a partnership between Lincoln and Atlantic Re:think. Set on Pier 17, the Nautilus isn’t just for those of us in Manhattan. You’ll even be able to catch the animated light display across the East River from the Brooklyn waterfront. Make sure the see the installation before September 10, when The Nautilus moves to its permanent home at the Lincoln headquarters in Detroit.
Yayoi Kusama is bringing infinity mirror rooms and massive pumpkins to the New York Botanical Garden
If you thought Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s dazzling Infinity Mirror Rooms caused a stir when they opened in New York, just wait until the artist takes over an entire garden. Next summer, the New York Botanical Garden—a cultural institution, research center and wedding venue you’ll never be able to afford—is mounting a mega exhibition of Kusama’s works from May 2, 2020 until November 1, 2020. Sprawled out across the NYBG’s gorgeous 250-acre landscape and historic buildings, the show will specifically explore the artist’s lifelong connection with nature. That means that on top of her signature mirrored environments, you can expect to find polka-dot sculptures of colossal flora, paintings inspired by plant life and some of the artist's botanical sketches. (You know, nature stuff.) Kusama will also be creating brand-new works for next year’s show including her first-ever participatory greenhouse installation that will be transformed over the course of the exhibition. (I don’t know about you, but my Instabait spidey sense is definitely tingling on that one!) and a site-specific giant pumpkin sculpture. #LinusWasRight. Stay tuned for more details on the sure-to-be-blockbuster show as the opening date approaches and, in the meantime, head up to the NYBG to check out their striking Brazilian Modern exhibition this summer. It's the perfect way to spend a leisurely summer afternoon.
The New Museum is doubling its size with a cool new addition
Among NYC art museums, the New Museum has generally been seen as the scrappy upstart with a bleeding-edge program dedicated to the latest in contemporary art. But in the last decade or so, the New Mu has been steadily achieving major institution status, especially since it relocated in 2007 from Soho to a bold, purposed built seven-story structure on the Bowery. Designed by the Tokyo architectural firm Sejima + Nishizawa/SANAA, it’s quickly became a Lower East Side landmarks as well as a magnet for visitors, whose numbers have swelled by 100% since the move. Photograph: OMA/Bloomimages.de But now things are about to get bigger still, as the New Mu just announced a major expansion. Projected to open in 2020, the design is the handiwork of the firm OMA, which is headed by Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas. Koolhaas, of course, is the one of the world’s most recognized architects—thanks in part to his book, Delirious New York, a treatise on the dizzying ambitions of Gotham, and how they shaped the city landscape. In that respect, The New Mu addition fits right in: Rising from a site next door to the museum’s current location, the building takes on a dynamic, faceted form which complements the stacked boxes of the SANAA design. And it will add a lot more room, packing in a total 61,899 square feet of space. The building will also feature a central atrium staircase with views of the surrounding neighborhood, an expanded lobby and bookstore and an 80-seat restaurant.