At the Intersection of Art and Technology
One of ARTECHOUSE’s interactive, digital art exhibits
Thanks to new and expansive technology, art just got a lot cooler. People can become photographers using just their phones, and anyone can share their art, from selfies to paintings, online. A new art venue, ARTECHOUSE, is breaking into the new age by combining both art and technology in its exhibits. It is the first interactive digital art gallery, presenting new ways to view art. “With the opening of ARTECHOUSE, it is our goal to continue to make an impact on the international art scene and community by introducing the ultimate new age destination for arts and technology that will welcome both locals and world travelers for a one-of- a-kind artistic experience,” said Tatiana Pastukhova, Managing Director of ARTECHOUSE.
I recently went to its first event, in early October. The installation was called The Spirit of Autumn. Finding the gallery was not hard, although it is in a more industrial part of D.C. Visitors are warned to bring a sweater or jacket, which is sound advice; the event took place in what seemed like a basement. Large projections were cast against the walls, hand-drawn leaves were swirling in the “air,” and a giant tree took up most of the front wall. When someone walked in front of each wall, the projection would react to their body, mimicking their movements, reacting to their gestures, and even responding to sounds. There were two points on either side of the room where, if one stood in a certain spot and clapped, a storm cloud would appear and create rain. On either side of the great room were smaller rooms; to the left, pools of color reacted to the steps people took. Walking in a certain way could direct the swirling colors in any which way. On the other side there was a hallway; virtual leaves covered the ground, and followed you as you walked. At the end of that hallway was a room where visitors could color leaves. The pictures would then be scanned and put into the installation, appearing on the walls.
Overall, it was an impressive show of artistry, albeit very short. After being in the main room for ten minutes, I felt like there was very little left to experience. While it was enticing to see the relationship between the artist’s mind and the technical application, there was not much actual space. I would have been really interested in seeing more rooms and different ways to apply the program. That being said, this is its first exhibit and I am sure it will have more new and innovative shows to offer.
ARTECHOUSE now has a new installation. It is called Kingdom of Colors and runs from Nov. 10-26. As the website describes it, “Immerse yourself into the world of dreamlike colorful liquids in motion showcased via our state-of-the-art 270 degree wall projections. Watch how this unique and innovative visual installation pushes the limits of engineering and creativity using the new possibilities afforded by advances in filmmaking and camera technology.” The show presents creations by French filmmaker Thomas Blanchard and artist Oilhack, soundtracked by Lyon-based composer Leonardo Villiger. Thomas Blanchard’s work might be recognizable through his recent commercial for the iPhone X, in which swirling paints are shown on the screen of an iPhone.
All information for the event and the space is
Daytime Admissions, Ages 6+ | Fri, Sat, & Sun 10am-5pm (last entry 4pm)
Evening Admissions, Ages 21+ | Everyday 5:30pm-10pm (Sun-Thu) -11pm (Fri & Sat)
General Admission Adults (18+): $15
Students, Seniors (65+) & Military ID holders: $12
Children (Ages 12 and under): $8
ARTECHOUSE is located at 1238 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, D.C. 20024, just few blocks away from the National Mall, the Smithsonian Metro Station and L’Enfant Plaza Station. It is accessible by Metro (via Orange, Blue, Silver, Yellow and Green subway lines).