Recent record-breaking crowds and long, snaking lines at museums have shown just how much we love experiencing new evocative and innovative exhibits here in DC. So, I’m about to fill you in on one that, in my opinion, is a must to experience this summer: XYZT: Abstract Landscapes. And let me stress “experience,” because this is one that you don’t just look at, but interact with, and even immerse in, too.
The exhibit is the first for ARTECHOUSE, a new destination for art, music, film, theater, and technology opening today, June 1, in Southwest DC. The 15,000-square-foot gallery is the District’s first innovative digital art center dedicated to showcasing experiential and immersive large scale installations by artists who are forerunners of the new age in arts and technology.
And ARETCHOUSE is launching in an extraordinary way. XYZT: Abstract Landscapes is an immersive sensory art exhibition created by leading contemporary digital artists and multimedia choreographers Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne. Composed of 10 interactive and immersive digital installations, the exhibit is a virtual playground of technology and light. Images are projected onto walls, the floors, on screen, in aquariums, and all of them can be manipulated with the touch of a hand or foot, movement, or sound.
It’s at once beautiful, playful, and dazzling — and enlightening! Each installation is accompanied by a console with headphones and a small screen that describe and depict the technology and processes at work.
A testament to how much I love XYZT: It’s only been open a day, and I’ve already been twice — for a media preview, and back today to experience it again with a friend. And even though I’ve only been sans kids, mine will definitely join next time for the very kid friendly exhibit. They can watch a letter tree grow and see its alphabet leaves blow in the wind. A clap of the hands turns letters into flying insects. A cloud of light will follow their movements. Making light move with the touch of a finger or the tap of a foot will make them feel like they have superpowers.
However, there are a few things to note as you plan to bring your kids. XYZT is recommended for ages 6 and up. Children younger than that are welcome, but parents should be aware that very little ones and kids with sensory issues might find some of the installations overwhelming and possibly a little creepy. And, of course, accompanying adults are expected to stay with small children at all times.
For the most part, though, visitors big and little are in for a treat! If this is how ARTECHOUSE is making their debut, I’m excited to see what else they have in store. Though XYZT is so cool, I can wait for it patiently.
XYZT: Abstract Landscapes runs at ARTECHOUSE through September 3, 2017. It’s open daily and hours are 10am – 4pm for ages 6 (recommended) and up, and 5:30-9:30pm for ages 21 and up only with valid ID — there is a bar where cocktails are can be purchased. Admission is $15/adult, $10/child, student, and senior during the day, and $25 in the evenings. Timed entry tickets can be purchased online, and you can also buy tickets there, but there’s a good chance they’ll start selling out as word spreads about the exhibit. ARTECHOUSE is located at 1238 Maryland Ave. SW, next to the Mandarin Oriental.