An exciting new exhibition at Silicon Valley’s first art gallery has been drawing crowds since its launch in early 2016. “Living Digital Space and Future Parks,” which the New York Times calls “a very different kind of immersive art installation,” is an exploration of the convergence of art, design, technology, and nature. The collaboration between teamLab--a Japanese interdisciplinary collective of self-described “ultra technologists”--and Pace Gallery succeeds in challenging notions of what defines art by taking visitors on an unparalleled, technology-driven journey into the world of bird flight, flowers, waterfalls, and outer space.
All of the exhibition’s 20 installations are nature-themed and the most striking of them are those which respond to the presence of visitors, underscoring the delicate balance that exists between humans and nature. One installation, titled “Flowers and People Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – A Whole Year Per Hour,” features infinite flower permutations which are neither pre-recorded animations nor on loop, but the real-time renderings of a computer program responding to human stimuli. Inspired by the abundance of cherry blossoms and rapeseed blossoms at the Kunisaki Peninsula, the work explores the effects of human activity on the natural landscape, but asserts that ultimately, nature cannot be controlled.
In “Crystal Universe,” another site responsive work, the viewer is immersed in a dazzling display of 50,000 LEDs, which respond to human movement and cues accessible via smartphone. Visitors can choose from a variety of star systems to transform both the sculpture’s color schemes and lighting patters. The experience of being integral to the universe of 50,000 “stars” is not only unexpectedly authentic and moving, but provides unusual and eye-catching photography material.
Though critics may argue that Living Digital Space and Future Parks is not art in the traditional sense, its installations combine light, video, sound, virtual reality, and incredibly detailed digital sequences to deliver an authentic, emotional experience. Toshiyuki Inoko from teamLab says, “We are honored to share some of our most recently created artworks and hope the universality of their themes—creativity, play, exploration, immersion, life, and fluidity—will seep into the broader conscience. We are particularly excited to debut several of these works in Silicon Valley, one of the indisputable heartlands for innovation, bold thinking and risk-taking.” Due to their ability to leave lasting impressions, these are artworks that may even rightfully, garner the ultimate Silicon valley stamp of approval and come to be referred to as “disruptive.”
Tickets to teamLab: Living Digital Space and Future Parks are are available until July 1, 2016.
Photos via Charlie Radka for Inhabitat