Culturespaces and Barco create the first digital art museum for Paris. The art experience located at Atelier des Lumières immerses visitors in rooms filled with sumptuous Klimt imagery.
The demand for digital art continues to rise as immersive multi-sensory experiences appeal to new and younger markets. Does the future for art galleries lie in this kind of application of digital technology to enhance visitor engagement?
The immersive art experience is located at Atelier des Lumières, a former foundry in the eastern part of Paris. The museum has been created and is operated by Culturespaces, the French museum foundation specialising in immersive art displays.
Digital technology in museums
The larger of the exhibition spaces is dedicated to Viennese painting with works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Friedrich Stowasser (Hundertwasser). Le Studio is a smaller room which features emerging artists while exploring AI and digital installations.
Artists’ works are projected onto ten metre high walls using 128 Barco laser PGWU-62L projectors and 16 F50 panoramic WUXGA projectors. The entire surface area of the renovated building stretches to 3,300 square metres. The images are accompanied by a sound track that uses music from Wagner, Chopin, Beethoven, amongst others. 50 speakers employ a “motion design” sound system that complements the 3D visuals.
This is the second time Barco and Culturespaces have collaborated, the first being the THEA award- winning project Carrières des Lumières in Les Baux de Provence, France.
The marriage of art and digital technology is, in my opinion, the future of the dissemination of art among future generations
The aim is to make fine art more accessible. Culturespaces also hopes to attract younger audiences. “People do not learn about culture as they did in the past,” said Bruno Monnier, president of Culturespaces, in an interview with The Guardian. “The practices are evolving and cultural offering must be in step with them. The marriage of art and digital technology is, in my opinion, the future of the dissemination of art among future generations.”
The 30-minute journey flashes 360-degree views of artworks at visitors. “Paintings come into focus, characters come out of their frames and artworks come to life – on the walls, on the cylindrical pillars, on the ceiling and even on the floor beneath our feet,” says the report in The Guardian.
The journey starts in neoclassical Vienna, revealing Klimt’s works followed by original posters from the Vienna Secession art movement. Klimt’s famous ‘golden’ phase is a highlight, with gold leaf and decorative motifs of The Kiss and The Tree of Life digitally cast around the venue, accompanied by a Viennese waltz.
Rise of immersive art exhibitions
Since Atelier des Lumières opened, three months ago, over 400,000 people have visited the experience. “We are already thinking about another site in France,” said Monnier. “At the end of this year, we will open a similar digital art centre in South Korea; it will be in a former bunker on the Pacific island of Jeju. We will open our first site in the US in 2019. Our know-how with this technique is unique and sought-after around the world now.”
The success follows in the footsteps of other digital art museums around the world. Back in June, Blooloop reported on the opening of a digital-only art museum in Tokyo by Japanese art collective teamLab.
The museum, based in the city’s Odaiba district, sold out on its opening day.
Images and video: Atelier des Lumières