Even if you haven’t yet checked out "XYZT: Abstract Landscapes," you’ve probably seen it on Instagram. This interactive digital exhibit is tucked away in a formerly vacant theater, where you can juggle the alphabet, steer a school of fish and touch digital sand.
Tinker with a cascading alphabet, run your toes through a digital field of grass or swipe the light across the walls in this interactive digital playground. Many of the exhibit's sculptures are powered by Kinect cameras, a hands-free motion sensor used by Xbox.
XYZT features a total of 10 light sculptures, nine interactive and one contemplative. Scatter the alphabet with the touch of a finger on this screen.
“It looks wonderful and playful on the surface, but once you start to take down a couple layers and you start understanding the technology, there’s meaning that the artist put into it, there are more and more layers,” said Tati Pastukhova, managing director and founder of ARTECHOUSE, a new art space serving as the exhibit’s temporary D.C. home. A wave of your arms sends the letters flying across these glass walls.
"With [Yayaoi Kusama’s] 'Infinity Mirrors' [at the Hirshhorn], you're still more of a passive viewer, whereas here you're creating an interactive experience," Pastukhova said.
Even the name is designed to be a four-dimensional experience. The title combines the four letters used to label dimension in math: X (horizontality), Y (verticality), Z (depth) and T (time).
The exhibit begs for you to engage with it, including this sculpture which distorts your movements on the screen as you walk across the space.
French artists Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, who designed the exhibit, call themselves digital choreographers, blending their backgrounds in design and computer science to give audiences a unique digital experience with art. Run your fingers through kinetic sand in this installation.
"They wanted this piece to be where the audience would be able to create their own experience with the artwork," Pastukhova said.
XYZT will be open through Sept. 3. Find ticket information and more details