My latest XR-experience in NY before the virus outbreak — ZeroSpace

Literally one week before all the public spaces in New York were closed, I and my “Nature of code” class with our professor Daniel Shiffman went to the field trip in ZeroSpace — the immersive art experience in NYC. The best thing about this trip was that we actually got not only to dive into the experience as the “normal” visitors but also had a chance to see what’s under the hood of every part of it. ZeroSpace co-founder, designer, technologist, and artist Joshua Davis was our guide.

ZeroSpace provides a lot of options for different kinds of activities.

First, visitors can play a certain game in the teams, so this is the interactive part with some sort of the open-ended script behind it. For this part, visitors are accompanied and led by actors.

Second, guests can just explore the museum and then lay, sit, meditate or sleep in the different zones, surrounded by weird artistic images and sounds.

And finally, there can be parties but who cares, especially now.

For me, this tour had a few most memorable parts. First, there I had this feeling that I probably could only get in New York, or, more specifically, in such an experimental-immersive-space in New York. This is the feeling that this is, actually, ART, made by certain tools (not paint but pixels and wires), created by the artist, not even a programmer (even though Joshua is a cool programmer obviously).

Then, there was a panoramic room with chairs that could easily turn over so that one can see the ceiling where 3d images are being projected, accompanied by very intense music, you know, trailer-like, full of suspense. I know someone will tell me that trick is cheap but it worked perfectly for me. Plus screening images were perfectly animated. I must only admit I kind of felt the lack of the storyline but I also guess that was the part of the plan — because altogether the experience provided a great room for imagination.

However, I started thinking of how a panoramic room like that could benefit a dramatically structured, not abstract, screen story.

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