Augmented reality brings this seemingly empty Manhattan gallery to life.
Thanks to a collaboration between online art platform Artsy and Pace Galleries Amsterdam design firm Studio Drift, the long-running Armory Show will be home to an completely digital museum only viewable in augmented reality. Running now until March 5th, the Concrete Storm uses the Microsoft HoloLens headsets to digitally project a catalog of virtual art via an immersive mixed reality experience.
Visitors begin by entering a simple room lined with green patterns that all intertwine with one another. Scattered across the installation are small broken pillars placed seemingly at random. Once you don the HoloLens however, the true magic of the exhibit is revealed in a spectacular fashion. Using the mixed reality capabilities of the headset, virtual pillars extend from the real concrete structures spread across the installation. The digital projections are broken into pieces as if they were blown by a tank, hovering in the air as if time were stopped in its tracks. Thanks to the advanced holographic computing power of the HoloLens, event-goers can freely walk around each virtual projection and experience the art from any angle.
The galleries curators and exhibit developers hope that as augmented reality becomes more accessible, the technology will actually allow users to view these exhibits from the convenience of their own home. “It’s early days, but in a commercial context, it’s an exciting new path for the art world and the art market,” says Elena Soboleva, Artsy’s curator for special projects. “You could easily imagine a collector testing artworks out in their living room or someone exploring a museum exhibit thousands of miles away through a mixed reality experience in their home.”
So if you’re in the NYC area and feel like checking out one of the coolest Microsoft Hololens projects currently on the circuit, definitely think about stopping by.
Concrete Storm is available to the public March 2nd to March 5th at The Armory Show located at Piers 92 and 94 in Manhattan.