The Interactive Art Gallery

By Andrea Mau
Web Content Contributor

On August 28 I visited the Wonderspaces gallery in Austin. The gallery features 12 pieces from artists all over the world and focuses primarily on interactive or illusion-based fine art.

Unlike other art exhibits, at Wonderspaces the viewer must be physically present to fully appreciate the exhibits. Many of the works are cooperative and require one to physically move around the spaces.

Visitors at Wonderspace sitting at a dinner table with VR headsets on
Andrea Mau via Canva

Personally, my favorite exhibit is the Dinner Party directed by Angel Soto. This artwork is a short film viewed entirely within virtual reality.

Dinner Party explores the various visual effects and immersion techniques made possible in VR. Walking away from this exhibit one’s mind goes wild with possibilities for both the entertainment and practical capabilities of this new innovation.

Visitor at Wonderspace pulling out and reading papers at The Last Word exhibit.
Andrea Mau via Canva

Another favorite is The Last Word by Illegal Art. In this honey-comb shaped artwork, viewers can share and read other visitor’s last words.

Viewers are presented with the prompt to write something they regret onto a paper with a white side, and then enter it into the honeycomb with the red side showing. Visitors are then encouraged to read other’s last words which one can select given its red side is showing.

The artwork gives an interesting look into many people’s lives and regrets while still remaining anonymous. Some messages are funny while others are heartbreaking, but all give one a more intimate look into our common humanity.

Andrea Mau via iPhone

Wonderspaces is also a great photo spot, with some of the most popular exhibits forming a large following on social media. Shortly after uploading images and videos from Wonderspaces, I received numerous questions online as to where these jaw-dropping visuals were taken.

Submergence by Squidsoup and Hoshi by NONOTAK Studios prove to be the most popular exhibits in this regard. Submergence immerses the viewer in a field of colorful walk-through lights, while Hoshi tricks the eye in an infinity mirror room.

The cafe at Wonderspaces
Andrea Mau via Canva

Because of the interactivity of the artworks, each exhibit can take up to 12 minutes to view. However, there is no need to worry about tiring out as the gallery offers a cafe and numerous spacious resting areas.

COVID-19 precautions are also taken with sanitizing stations set at each exhibit. The gallery also never overcrowds because of the reservation system put in place before visiting. Parties are slowly admitted based on their time slot.

Andrea Mau via iPhone

This not only makes the exhibits safer but improves the viewing experience with fewer participants to block picture taking and viewing. Tickets and time slot availability can be found on their website.

As the pandemic continues to cancel our much-anticipated events and activities, Wonderspaces remains an open, fun and safe space outside our homes. The gallery is a must-see if you live near Austin. The exhibits are unlike anything I’ve encountered at traditional galleries for art, making for a truly unique viewing experience.

Featured Image by Andrea Mau

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