Art Basel Miami tilts towards tech and the Internet is loving it

Published on November 25, 2019

Every year, Miami transforms into a creative Mecca. Hosting Art Basel, the largest annual art event in North America, Miami becomes a stage for some of the most creative evolutions of art and tech

The Power of Immersive Instagrammable Art

Art Basel and Miami Art Week 2019 will showcase some of the most innovative immersive installations that are inevitably going to take over social media feeds for a few weeks. 

ARTECHOUSE (@artechouse) will be showcasing its new show Infinite Space, the first major retrospective of the work of award-winning Turkish-born artist Refik Anadol. Infinite Space has been seen by more than a million people around the world and invites visitors to be totally consumed by the “endless transformation and infinite possibilities at the intersection of man and machine.” 

Image credit: Olee Fowler

These experiences serve as tinder for virality and the potential for massive exposure is a strong motivator for many creatives around the world, as well as potential financiers for the immersive experiences. For example, the frozen dessert-themed Museum of Ice Cream received a whopping valuation of $200 million this year; the entire experience is designed to offer attendees perfect social-media friendly moments that serve as incredibly powerful (and free) marketing drivers. 

Miami Art Week 2019 attendees will also be able to see Kusama’s All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins (2016) exhibit, the first time his signature experiential art will be in Miami. You can catch Kusama’s work in the Design District, open Thursdays to Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The work will be in Miami through January 31, 2020. 

The exhibitions of artist Yayoi Kusam involve a signature spellbinding experience in which the viewer is completely immersive in an “infinity room” lined with mirrors and illuminated by LED lights. 

Yayoi Kusama, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, detail, 2016. Wood, mirror, plastic, acrylic, LED. Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore and Victoria Miro, London. © Yayoi Kusama.

Virtual Reality: From Pre-Production to Presentation to Post

I spoke with former Art Miami Fair Designer Dane Hustead on how virtual reality has changed how he transforms unique locations into stunning art showrooms. 

“Virtual reality and 3D videography are helping democratize the art scene because it’s significantly reducing the cost of setting up high-fidelity art events,” comments Dane. “It used to take manual meticulous attention to detail to set up an actually presentable space for art that would cost thousands of dollars and a dozen hours. Now, I can just use a 3D camera with Depth Perception to capture the entire space and work with on a 3D asset in about fifteen minutes.” 

And better yet, 3D and VR cameras are capable of adding an intimate element of permanence to events that we’re going to be incredibly fortunate to experience in the future. 

“Once you fill the whole space, you can even take a VR-enabled camera and scan the room and leave with a digital asset that will last forever,” says Dane. “Provided the recording is high-quality enough, you’ll be able to walk around Art Basel 2019 20 years from now and relive the experience.” 

Virtual reality is also going to have an enormous impact on contemporary art. It enables artists to control almost every detail of the user experience including the spatial, visual, sonic, and haptic elements. 

Whoever has experienced a genuinely awesome virtual reality experience understands the extremely positive sentiment about the technology, but the technology still has some significant barriers to overcome before entering a majority of households. Events like Art Basel and Miami Art Week are able to provide many people with stunning first-impressions of what is going to be one of the most significant innovations in the art of our generation. 

Sparking Conversation

Fully immersive art, virtual reality, augmented reality, and blockchain are going to play a tremendous role in changing the paradigm of what the art experience is– and what better place to witness this than the sunny and beautiful city of Miami, Florida. 

Art has always served as an ethereal touchpoint for conversation for virtually every issue, and tech’s omnipresent impact on today’s society is a hot topic. 

Grit Daily Live! Miami Art Summit, co-hosted by JADA Immersive, will take over 1250 Normandy Drive on December 6th and 7th and will emphasize immersive art, business, and the current state and future of LatinX artists. 

Alex Moskov is a News Columnist at Grit Daily.

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