A new 50,000 square foot experiential art center (EAC to those in the know), called Superblue, has just opened up in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood. It includes installations by Tokyo-based teamLab, Amsterdam’s DRIFT, James Turrell (amazing), as well as many others.
This is noteworthy because experiential art is both fun (and Instagrammable) and because it is another example of the continuing rise of Allapattah. Art, design, and culture are usually pretty good for city building.
At the same time, the New York Times raises an interesting question: “Is this a forward step in the march of modernism or a debasement of art into theme-park entertainment?” Arthur Lubow goes on to say:
The popularity of this genre is driven by contradictory desires, as demonstrated memorably by the line of visitors in 2019 who waited up to six hours for a one-minute stay amid the twinkling lights in Yayoi Kusama’s infinity mirror room at the David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea. Malnourished by their phones and computer screens, people yearn for real-life visceral experiences. And yet they remain stuck in the gravitational pull of virtual reality: The experiences they seek are ones they can record on their phone cameras and post on social media.
I get this logic.
But my own view is that just because something has commercial appeal, it shouldn’t mean that the art is any less serious. And just because people want to photograph and share it, doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t appreciating it in the same way as someone just standing around and pondering it.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention that Snap has also just announced the next version of its Spectacles. These ones come with the promise of augmented reality. What is real anymore?