Experiences….coming to you soon
Ashes and Snow debuted in NYC, on the pier, in 2005. It was a traveling exhibit, aka a nomadic museum, by Gregory Colbert, of his photos, films, and letters. The prints were done on Japanese paper, the film is poetic narratives around a year-long journey and fictional story of a man writing 365 letters to his wife over a year period. The photos are mostly of indigenous people connecting with animals around the globe.
It was a major event as nobody has really done anything like this before. Of course, there were tickets to be bought, mementos to be purchased and that included anything from a t-shirt to a book. I have no idea how much the show made as it traveled around the globe but my guess is a tremendous amount.
I talked to someone at length when this event passed through town about creating something different yet more educational around arts and science. It never came to be and it is surprising that nobody was able to create other concepts like Ashes and Snow. Perhaps it had to do with the amount of capital needed but as a rule, when I see one idea that works, a slew of new ones that are a take on the one already working comes into my box as a start-up with a new slant.
This event took place before the rise of Instagram. Now we are living in the next wave of immersive art. Perhaps if Instagram had been around when Ashes and Snow launched, we would have seen this more of these concepts quicker.
If you think Millennials like to experience, then hold on to your hats for Generation Z. These kids actually shop in stores. They love the Ice Cream Museum soon to come to a major city near you. There is an immersive Gustav Klint show in Paris right now. The rain room was a tremendous success and continues to be shown in Museums around the globe. If it is Instagrammable, they love it. Sharing their experiences while having them with other people is like having billions of reporters on the ground around the world.
Is it just the evolution of the instant camera that can be blasted throughout the globe without small click? Is it the need to feel and experience something vs just staring at the phone screen? Is it human nature’s desire to get out in the world and be social?
I still think about Pipilotti Rist’s show at the New Museum a few years back. Seeing the young kids immerse themselves in the experience was worth the price of the ticket alone. It might have taken about a decade to see the rise of immersion experiences but we are in the thick of it right now and I am truly interested in what the next generation will do growing up with these experiences.