Digital Art Going Dutch
In 2024, “Nowhere”, an immersive digital art space, will open in Utrecht. This will be the first time the world-famous art collective teamLab opens a permanent exhibition space in Europe, and the Netherlands is the lucky winner.
You may remember teamLab from our third episode “The Virtual as Reality”. For those of you who haven’t seen that episode yet, here’s a short recap: art collective, teamLab, offers world-class new media installations, large digital artworks that envelop visitors in audio-visual experiences. teamLab excels in clever combinations of projectors, motion sensors, LEDs and computers that are hooked up to one another and communicate through this connection. Unlike traditional art, the interactive creations change in response to the viewer’s behaviour, meaning you’ll never see a teamLab work look the same again.
Sound a little too techy? Let us try to describe the sensations brought about by a teamLab experience: imagine projections of flowers and waving plants floating above and below, giving you a sense of uncomfortable vertigo while simultaneously making you feel like you’re the leading character in Alice in Wonderland. Or a journey through a labyrinth of suspended crystals, whose glittering patterns you can control via your own phone. Touch the signs on the walls only to have fish appear seconds later, swimming across a vast seabed on an adjacent wall. These are ultra-interactive, synesthetically visual art experiences.
In blurring the lines between technology, science and art so spectacularly, teamLab has managed to confuse a few art critics and arguably create a new genre of art, digital magic capable of reaching a wide audience both physically and through social media. The teamLab hashtag is used almost 700,000 times on Instagram, can you imagine? This is public art for a generation accustomed to sensory overload and constant digital stimulus. And it’s beautiful! teamLab is a must-know (and a must-experience, dare we say) for anyone who is trying to explain the borderless definition of new media.
So what’s the purpose of this type of art? teamLab’s mission is to explore new relationships between humans and the world, and they use digital technology to create art that allows us to do so. Click here to watch the teamLab video “Continuous Life in a Beautiful World”. Make sure your sound is on and watch it in full-screen mode!
“There are all sorts of boundaries in the physical world that can be eliminated through digital art. We want to make an artwork that’s really huge. It could be artificial like Disneyland or an actual city you can live in.”
― Toshiyuki Inoko
Now back to Utrecht: teamLab’s exhibition will transform Nowhere’s 3,000 square-meter space into a magical experience in which the viewer is completely immersed. Get ready for 2024, Art Fixers.
While four years may seem like a lifetime away, we also have some more short-term news to share. It appears that the Netherlands is on its way to becoming the digital art’s hub for Europe, because this weekend the Nxt Museum, founded by two women, will open their first exhibition in Amsterdam.
“Shifting Proximities” will explore human experience and interaction in the face of social and technological change. Global events and developments, whether socio-political, technological or environmental, have a significant impact on how we communicate, move, and live in the world.
So if you’re interested in digital art, mark your calendars for 2024 and ensure you’re the first to check out Nowhere in Utrecht. And if you simply can’t wait that long, head over to Nxt Museum in Amsterdam as of this weekend.