Upon entering, you are suddenly awash in a sea of vivid pinks, oranges and blues as ambient sounds fill your ears. There’s a sense of sophistication mixed with playfulness, but you can’t really tell the difference between the two.
Then you move your body in twisting, jarring motions as you play a futuristic game that captures all of your senses.
Yet there is an ominous message attached to the game. You discover that chocolate is a thing of the past and many animals have disappeared.
Are you in an episode of black mirror or Artechouse’s latest exhibition, “Renewal 2121”?
Artechouse, which opened in 2017 in Washington, DC, with outposts in Miami Beach and New York, pushes the boundaries of art while creating an immersive experience. Its aim is to blend art, science and technology, leaving visitors to reflect on the world around them.
Past exhibitions at Artechouse have featured experiments focused on a single color palette and drawing inspiration from foreign cultures. One thing is certain: no two experiences are the same.
“Renewal 2121,” which premiered at the DC space in 2021, opened in Miami Beach and is inspired by Japanese culture, fusing aspects of kawaii aesthetics and street food with bold colors . As visitors enter, the guides explain that they are about to enter Japan in 100 years.
Perhaps Artechouse’s most colorful experience to date, “Renewal 2121” is fun, playful and energizing. It revolves around three themes of renewal: the city, nature and oneself. Produced by the in-house creative team with scenes designed by Japanese digital artist Yuya Takeda, it aims to get visitors to walk through the exhibition and reflect on the resilience of nature, how humans find ways to fight against destruction and how members of society can make a change.
Nature is at the heart of each interactive piece. It’s a simple message; Nature has struggled, but she persists.
“Each year, we are inspired by the incredible power and beauty of nature to bring cherry blossom season and its message of renewal and reflection to life in our innovative art space in DC,” says Sandro Kereselidze, founder and creative director of Artechhouse. . “This year, we wanted to bring the exhibit to Miami for the first time because we felt it was imperative to shine a light on the collective environmental responsibility necessary to ensure the prosperity of our natural environment. We hope to convey a message of hope with this exhibit and inspire visitors to take action and be part of positive change.”
In what continues to be a reality for many these days, the creative team at Artechouse collaborated remotely on “Renewal 2121”, in collaboration with Tokyo-based Takeda; Düsseldorf-based duo Mario Hammer and the Lonely Robot, who created the incredible music; and Design Foundry in Maryland, which partnered with the landscape. Visitors can bang taikos, cook in a Japanese street cart, sit in a huge hall that places the viewer in the middle of futuristic Japan, and play contactless games. In all, it takes around 45 minutes to go through the entire show, depending on how much time you spend playing the various mini-games.
In recent years, immersive art exhibitions have become the norm, offering audiences who might be put off by more esoteric works something far more accessible without being entirely innovative. While “Renewal 2121” is certainly not a uniquely immersive experience, those looking to feast on the exhibit’s cyberpunk aesthetic likely won’t be disappointed.
“Renewal 2121.” On view through May 1 at Artechouse, 736 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; artechouse.com. Tickets cost between $17 and $24.