I went to Artechouse at Chelsea Market with Alex the other day, where Turkish digital artist Refik Anandol had a projection/data visualization exhibition called “Machine Hallucination.”
Nearly the entire boiler room underneath Chelsea Market was illuminated by several 16K laser projectors, displaying a dataviz algorithm-driven video made up of 100 million social media photos of New York City — essentially, “Machine Hallucination” is an abstract movie made of shapes and colors derived from what users post about New York. I loved the concept, and it could have easily been one of my class’ thesis projects (if they had a ton of money, that is).
Although the visuals of the video and the idea were very cool, the overall experience was a little underwhelming: one entire side (the entrance down to the boiler room) had no projections whatsoever, and the pillars and sharp corners of the room didn’t make the projections as seamless as they could be. It didn’t feel as immersive as I had hoped it would be. In my opinion, if they somehow curved each of the room’s corners (including the floor), the overall projection — and thus experience — would have been more exciting. Edges are just so restricting.
The fact that I had to pay a $25 entrance fee also kind of hindered the fun.
Nonetheless, Artechouse was indeed worthy of being visited and photographed (the Instagramabilty of this place factors very high). The exhibition and Artechouse itself was hardly publicized, so it wasn’t too crowded. Would I recommend going to any of Artechouse’s future exhibitions? Sure, but make sure you’re comfortable paying that much.
Here are some of my photos: