What do you get when you cross a celebrated international art gallery with 400 Japanese technology artists and set them loose in a sprawling former Telsa dealership in Silicon Valley? You get Living Digital Space and Future Parks, a eye-popping, mind-expanding exhibition that skips the velvet ropes and instead encourages visitors to interact with the art and with each other. Read on to find out why the new teamLab exhibition at Pace Gallery in Menlo Park is a must-visit for families.
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A Digital Playground for All Ages
Chase hundreds of butterflies around the room, watch as digital flowers respond to human touch and even play a futuristic game of hopscotch in a babbling river. This new exhibition, which opened February 6, includes 20 immersive digital installations, many of which were created specifically for children. The 20,000-square-foot gallery, which is housed in the former Tesla dealership, was given a moody makeover for this show: the walls, ceilings and floors were all painted black, creating the perfect canvas for the multi-sensory light show.

 

Hundreds of nearly invisible projectors and motion detectors fill every room, allowing the ever-changing art works to respond to visitors’ movements and touch, thanks to complex algorithms developed by the artists. The technological wizardry is on full display in the family sections, where kids are encouraged to design digital cities, bring ancient characters to life with a touch of their hands and set their own artistic creations loose in a digital sea.

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About the Artists…All 400 of Them
teamLab is a Japanese artists’ collective made up of “ultra-technologists” who seek to navigate the confluence of art, technology, design and the natural world. Pace Art + Technology is the first to bring this exhibition to the US, after a highly successful run in Tokyo.  Every experience in Future Parks is the result of a complex algorithms that both mimics and riffs off nature. Digital butterflies scurry in response to human touch, flower petals fall of the blossom if shaded for too long and cities in constant motion morph as children move colorful building blocks from one place to another.

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And unlike the solitary video game experience, each environment was designed to encourage collaboration with other visitors. A huge vibrant seascape teems with sea life designed by visitors big and small: After coloring in analog fish and squid with good old Crayolas, each drawing is scanned and “set loose” inside the sea, where it will stay through out the remainder of the exhibition.

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Download Instructions
Living Digital Space and Future Parks at Pace Art + Technology in Menlo Park opened on February 6 with a celebratory Community Day that was attended by some of tech’s biggest and brightest families (the Zuckerburgs were there with little Max, among others).

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It runs through July 1, and tickets are already going fast, as it’s proving to be a social media sensation on par with LACMA’s The Rain Room. The gallery is open Tuesday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. and you can get your tickets here. Kids 2 and under are free, and there are also student and senior discount available.

Pace Art + Technology
300 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, Ca
When: Feb. 6–July 1, 2015
Cost: $20/adult; $15/students and seniors with ID; $10/children 3-13; FREE/2 and under
Tickets: eventbrite.com/e/teamlab

Have you experienced the Future Parks exhibit? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

-Erin Feher