One of the key trends in museums and galleries over the past three years is the rise of spaces centering around immersive “artainment” experiences, which essentially combine art, immersive technology, such as VR and 3D projection mapping, and entertainment. ARTECHOUSE DC has been one of the pioneering spaces showcasing this emergent art form since 2017. The experiential digital art space enables visitors to engage with immersive exhibits in new and unique ways.
According to Tati Pastukhova, founder and managing director of ARTECHOUSE , the art space is focused on “inspiring, educating, and empowering the creation of new experiential and exploratory art forms.”
“From our physical immersive art spaces in Washington, DC, New York, and Miami to our extended reality mobile app, ARTECHOUSE connects progressive ideas, artists, and audiences, stimulating interest in the limitless possibilities of technology, science, and creativity through innovation,” Pastukhova said. “Since our founding in 2015, our goal has been to build community through inclusivity, exploration, and participation in new immersive art forms.”
Pastukhova said that ARTECHOUSE strives to set itself apart with interactivity, offering a way to connect to other visitors and artists.
“Immersive art as a whole offers new possibilities for engagement with the artwork, simply by feeling and seeing it all around us,” Pastukhova said. “Additionally, some of our installations offer more direct opportunities for audiences to engage, reacting to visitors’ presence or responding to actions like walking, jumping, or making noise.”
A particular focus is on taking new approaches to audience participation. She describes ARTECHOUSE as an “incubator” where artists can develop new work or reimagine previous work. There’s also in-house production of art experiements.
“First and foremost, our locations are innovative art spaces,” she said.”We were the first art organization to create physical spaces in multiple cities fully dedicated to digital work and this innovative new field. Moreover, we have created a place that isn’t just showcasing today’s art, but looking forward to the future of art, working hand in hand with genre-bending multimedia artists and creatives to build on that innovation. In addition, we operate our own production studio to support an entire ecosystem of digital art creators and innovation.”
Whe it comes to technology, ARTECHOUSE has a permanent projection system that creates experiences on its 270-degree gallery walls. And instllations have incorporated sensors such as Leap Motion Controllers and Kinect systems.
“We’re excited to use LiDAR technology recently, including in our [currently on-view] ‘Renewal 2121’ installation, which uses light to measure its surroundings and create an extremely responsive and adaptable interactive experience,” Pastukhova said. “We also pay special attention to sound in our pieces, using high-quality sound systems to create a mood or sense of place.”
ARTECHOUSE also has an extended reality app, through which users can view exhibit-related content and special projects using only their phones.
ARTECHOUSE has made a special effort to explore and promote themes of wellness, mindfulness, and resilience in its exhibitions.
“In a sense, we’re encouraging people to slow down and really allow themselves to let these experiences sink in,” Pastukova said. “Over the past year, we found that visitors have been really craving the experience of art and an opportunity to slow down more than ever. We wanted to give people a chance to forget their worries, even temporarily, and reconnect with something beautiful.”
In one example, it produced a series of original digital art installations across its three locations: Crystalline in DC, Celestial in New York City, and Aqueous in Miami. All three were inspired by the color Classic Blue, which is the Pantone 2020 Color of the Year. It was selected for its “soothing, dependable” qualities, Pastukova said.
“Not only are we offering visitors an opportunity to safely spend some time outside their house, but we are showing art that is asking us to reflect and center ourselves,” Pastukova said.
Running currently at ARTECHOUSE DC, the exhibition Renewal 2121 seeks to summon the power of art to address climate change challenges and opportunities. It illuminates the prospect of an overdeveloped urban wasteland 100 years from now, reflecting a reality that would present itself if no action is taken to combat climate change. But it also evokes hopefulness for a better future through cherry blossoms that “peek through the plastic, concrete, and neon lights.”
ARTECHOUSE has attracted a steadily growing number of visitors. Pastukova reports that has welcomed over 1.1 million visitors across all of its locations since 2017.-30-