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This bonkers laser art installation will blow your mind

Written by
Howard Halle

When last we checked in on ARTECHOUSE, the trippy new space in the former boiler room of the Chelsea Market, the immersive digital art gallery with branches in Washington, DC and Miami was bathing viewers with deep blue projections on the floor, ceiling and walls. Their latest installation, however, will have you seeing red.

Photograph: Courtesy ARTECHOUSE

Unlike ARTECHOUSE's previous offering (titled Submerge), Intangible Forms, as the new exhibit is called, isn't about color per se, though it does plunge you well into the infrared end of the spectrum. Rather it's meant to reveal "the elaborate and invisible systems that underlie our reality, making visible the powerful forces that shape our every moment." That's according to the work's creator, Shohei Fujimoto, a Japanese artist based in Tokyo whose specialty is making spectacles in light that are big on wow factor.

Photograph: Courtesy ARTECHOUSE

The centerpiece of the show consists of scores of kinetic laser modules that can move in concert to create three-dimensional environments out of hundreds of tightly focused beams. Resembling glowing strands suspended in the dark, they can hang in straight rows to resemble a beaded curtain or the strings of a harp. Or they can bend and twist to engulf the viewer in a psychedelic cat's cradle conjured out of thin air. An ambient soundscape completes the sense that you are confronting some sort of gateway to another dimension. Another room off to the side contains a 2-D projection of moving abstract forms.

Photograph: Courtesy ARTECHOUSE

Fujimoto aim is to render the intangible tangible with the hope that viewers will be able focus on their "own universal sense of being." But in case you need help in that department, it's available in drink form at ARTECHOUSE's "Augmented Reality Bar," where you can get cocktails activated by an AR mobile app that you can download on your phone.

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