Tuesday, September 11, 2018

For tech giant Microsoft, partnering with the arts is an integral part of their identity. Since their BCA 10 honor in 2013, they have continued to collaborate with artists, including Mel Chin. Most recently, the Queens Museum and No Longer Empty hosted the exhibit Mel Chin: All Over the Place in the bright, bustling center of New York City. Together, Chin and Microsoft developed a mixed reality experience depicting New York City under water. Tourists and art goers alike stepped into Chin’s two-part multimedia works Wake (hosted by Times Square Arts) and Unmoored.

Among the mammoth installation of Wake’s animatronic Jenny Lind figurehead of the 19th century USS Nightingale and its skeleton, viewers immersed (or submerged) themselves into the work with Unmoored. Complete with different types of plankton, the imaginary water rose above the viewers when they donned the Microsoft HoloLens—a potential glimpse into the future of the city. Other businesses that collaborated on this project include Listen—a company that focuses on sound, strategy, and experiences—and Zengalt, the HoloLens team that focuses on museums.

According to the Queens Museum, Chin’s work highlights “the natural environment, socioeconomic systems and injustice, the weight of lamentations, as well as the lightness of humor to reveal truths” and uses different “disciplines that intersect in the artist’s politically charged work and demonstrate how art can promote social awareness and responsibility and reanimate curiosity.”

Through this partnership, Chin created a world where the past, present, and future collide.

Photo from Unmoorednyc.com

Author Name: 
Danielle Iwata