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  • Aug 07, 2020

Will Art be Replaced by Experiences?

Rendering of Superblue Experiential Art Center in Miami. Photo by Moris Moreno. Courtesy Superblue.

Pace Gallery’s president and CEO Marc Glimcher, and the former president of Pace London, Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, have announced they are launching a new art enterprise, dubbed Superblue, that focuses on art "experiences." The organization announced on August 4 that it has planned multiple unspecified global locations for the next few years, the first of which is scheduled to open in Miami in December.

Named after the avant-garde Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) movement, Superblue has set its sights on being at the forefront of producing and presenting large-scale immersive art to the public. According to its press release, it will also foster commissions, collaborations, and acquisitions of experiential art. Unlike traditional galleries, such experiential art centers sell the experience of the art rather than the work itself—artists at Superblue Miami will receive royalties from admission ticket sales, costing under USD 40 per person, as reported by The Art Newspaper.

The Miami venue, a 50,000-square-foot industrial building, is across from the Rubell Museum in the Allapattah district. The site will host numerous installations simultaneously with each show exhibiting for up to 18 months.

While details of the exhibitions have yet to be announced, a list of 21 collaborators have been confirmed. Included in the list is multimedia artist Koo Jeong A, known for her augmented-reality (AR) projects Prerequisites 7 (2019), featuring her animated sketches, and Density (2019), a large ice cube suspended midair. Video artist Michal Rovner who explores human and geological markers of history is also part of the lineup: her 2019 video collage at the Canary Wharf Crossrail station, Transitions, reimagines life in urban London on a 16-meter screen. Multimedia artist Kohei Nawa who toys with technology and the laws of physics in his sculptures and installations is also among the list. 

Superblue evolved from PaceX, a 2019 art and technology initiative, which was itself born after the end of FuturePace in 2018. The latter was led by Dent-Brocklehurst, a two-year tech-art collaboration between Pace Gallery and cultural placemaking agency Futurecity, and featured some artists now working with Superblue. 

This is the latest of several organizations hopping onto the growing trend of immersive and experiential art. Artechouse, launched by Sandro Kereselidze and Tatiana Pastukhova—founders of the arts event-organizing company Art Soiree—opened its first space in Washington, D.C. in 2017. Deemed as an “new age art destination,” it now also has spaces in Miami Beach and New York City. In June 2018, artist collective teamLab—who is collaborating with Superblue—launched Borderless, a purpose-built large-scale digital art institution in Tokyo, with Mori Building Company. The success of that venture, which drew 2.3 million people in its first year, saw teamLab open a permanent space for Borderless in Shanghai in November 2019. More recently on June 15, teamLab and Sands Resort Macao opened teamLab SuperNature Macao, a permanent space in Macau’s Venetian casino complex. And this August and September, Kukje Gallery, in Seoul, is hosting an immersive multimedia environment, Starry Beach (2020), created by a media-artist unit, named a'strict.

Fion Tse is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

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