Japan’s TeamLab has built many of the most trippy, interactive and Instagram-able digital art installations ever. The Mori Building Digital Art Museum has 10,000 square meters of exhibition space, with around 50 installations that generate imagery thanks to 520 computers, 470 projectors and countless motion sensors.
Will we ever be contented gazing at static objects set in opposition to bare white walls again after experiencing complete immersion in a dynamic, interactive digital environment? Tokyo-based techno-artist collective teamLab has opened an exciting new museum in their home city, and it seems to be just as extraordinary as one would expect.
“The title of the exhibit is ‘Borderless’ and it’s meant to signify how the immersive works keep boundaries between visitors in a state of continuous flux,” museum chief Ou Sugiyama explained. “Each visitor can enjoy this experience in their own way.”
“When you create something, there are already boundaries. If you make it on canvas, there are boundaries; if you make a sculpture, you can’t change it. But for digital (art), you can always change, because the digital world doesn’t really exist. We want to really bring people inside our artworks,” said teamLab’s communications director, Takashi Kudo.
Since there are no boundaries, the immersive works keep the boundaries between people in a state of continuous flux. Visitors physically enter and explore the works as well as experience interactions with other visitors. The result is a totally new kind of interactive digital art museum the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
1: Borderless World
People understand and recognize the world through their bodies, moving freely and forming connections and relationships with others. As a consequence the body has its own sense of time. In the mind, the boundaries between different thoughts are ambiguous, causing them to influence and sometimes intermingle with each other.
teamLab Borderless is a group of artworks that form one borderless world. Artworks move out of the rooms freely, form connections and relationships with people, communicate with other works, influence and sometimes intermingle with each other, and have the same concept of time as the human body.
People lose themselves in the artwork world. The borderless works transform according to the presence of people, and as we immerse and meld ourselves into this unified world, we experience continuity among people, as well as a new relationship that transcends the boundaries between people and the world.
2: teamLab Athletics Forest
teamLab Athletics Forest is a new “creative physical space” that trains spatial recognition ability by promoting the growth of the hippocampus of the brain. It is based on the concept of understanding the world through the body and thinking of the world three-dimensionally. In a complex, physically challenging, three-dimensional space, immerse your body in an interactive world.
3: Future Park
Learn and Play! Future Park is an educational project and an experimental field for co-creation (collaborative creation).
4: Forest of Lamps
When a person stands still close to a lamp, it shines brightly and emits a color that resonates out. The light of this lamp becomes the starting point, and it spreads to the two nearest lamps. The light from the two nearest lamps transmits the same color to other lamps, one after another, spreading out continuously. The light transmitted from the lamp always resonates out as a bright light once, passing to close lamps, till all lamps have shone brightly once, and then returns to the first lamp. The light of the lamp in response to human interaction, divides in two, becomes one optical line through all lamps respectively, finally, meeting at the first lamp that became the starting point.
5: EN TEA HOUSE
Make tea and a flower blooms inside the teacup. Flowers bloom infinitely as long as there is tea. The tea in the bowl becomes an infinite world in which the flowers continue to bloom. Drink in the infinitely expanding world.
Through their collaboration, Mori Building and teamLab aim to create a unique destination that enhances the magnetic power of Tokyo toward 2020 and beyond. If you can’t get there in person the collective also has permanent exhibitions in London, Singapore, Paris and Shenzhen.