Wonderspaces Reopens at Fashion District with New Exhibits to Celebrate One Year Anniversary!
Philadelphia’s largest new cultural attraction is back! Wonderspaces Philadelphia is celebrating its reopening and one year anniversary with the debut of new installations that include Akousmaflore by Scenocosme, Thank You Bags by Reed van Brunschot, and a new VR film: Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness by Peter Middleton, James Spinney, Arnaud Colinart, and Amaury La Burthe. The new artworks join popular returning exhibits, including the glowing Submergence by Squidsoup, the sunrise and sunset of Sun by Phillip Schutte and the colorful Body Paint by Memo Akten. With the reopening of its doors, Wonderspaces will continue to implement health and safety protocols designed to keep patrons and team members safe during the global pandemic, including requiring face masks at all times, including for photos. Hours for reopening weekend are Friday from 4:00pm to to 10:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 10:00pm, and Sunday from 10:00am to 8:00pm. Regular hours are Wednesdays to Fridays 4:00pm to 10:00pm, Saturdays 10:00am to 10:00pm, Sundays 10:00am to 8:00pm, and closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Wonderspaces is located at 27 N 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, with entrances located in the Fashion District and on 11th Street. The Philadelphia venue is the only location on the East Coast for the California-based company. For local residents and visitors staying hyperlocal this winter, Wonderspaces Philadelphia offers a unique, interactive and socially distanced activity in the heart of Center City, and is currently operating at greatly reduced capacity, making the experience even more personal and intimate.
“We are thrilled to welcome Philly back to Wonderspaces just in time for our one year anniversary here at the Fashion District,” said Wonderspaces General Manager Jenn McCreary. “We’re reopening with three new artworks, including a brand new VR experience, as well as an ongoing commitment to the health and wellness of our visitors and team members. Now more than ever, people are looking for safe ways to spend time with family and friends outside of their homes– being able to provide that experience is at the core of our mission.”
Wonderspaces partners with artists from around the world to present art shows that everyone can enjoy as a place to connect with friends and family in a setting welcoming to all. Its shows bring art from Burning Man, Sundance, and the far corners of the globe to the people who could be enjoying it but who may not otherwise have the opportunity. And at a time when artists are unable to travel internationally to present their work, Wonderspaces shows are a means for artists to continue to reach new audiences and to be paid for their art.
The line-up of art for this week’s reopening will include:
NEW: Akousmaflore by Scenocosme – Akousmaflore is a hanging garden of living plants that respond to human contact, each reacting in a different way to gentle touch by producing a unique sound, communicating their existence through interactive musicality.
NEW: Thank You Bags by Reed van Brunschot – Playing with scale as it invites visitors to consider the overuse of plastic and its environmental impact, Thank You Bags reclaims a generic yet iconic symbol of mass consumerism and the excesses of capitalism through two enormous fabric sculptures, filled to capacity with nothing but air.
NEW: Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness by Peter Middleton, James Spinney, Arnaud Colinart, and Amaury La Burthe – Step into the memory of John Hull, a theology and disability scholar, whose original audio diary recordings are the basis of this VR film which explores his sensory and psychological experience of blindness using binaural audio, VR and real time 3D animations to create a fully immersive experience in a ‘world beyond sight’.
Human Study #1 3RNP, Patrick Tresset – An installation where the human becomes a model and a trio of robots become the artist. In a scene reminiscent of a life drawing class, visitors sit to be sketched from three perspectives by three robots. The 20 minute drawing session becomes a performance for other visitors to observe, and the finished drawings are then displayed and become part of the installation. (opened before the second shut-down)
Ferreflection Pool, Mesplé – This exhibit combines real-time video interpolation, microprocessors and 320 electromagnets to create reflective silhouettes of a viewer’s moving body. The fluid is magnetically responsive and puckers into a spike when triggered. (opened before the second shut-down)
Submergence by Squidsoup – Submergence is an immersive installation comprised of 8,064 individual points of light visitors walk through. The lights continually change colors in correspondence to music. Submergence creates awe-inspiring feelings of movement within physical space.
Blooms by John Edmark – Blooms are 3D-printed sculptures designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. The rotational speed and the strobe light frequency are synchronized so that one flash occurs every time the bloom turns 137.5 degrees–the angular version of the golden ratio (0.618…).
Sun by Phillip Schutte – SUN is an interactive installation which empowers visitors to control the movement of the rise and setting of the sun. As the visitor moves the ball, the position of the sun changes the way the light interacts with the atmosphere.
Transition by Mike von Rotz and Joost Jordens – Transition is a virtual reality experience based on the music of Kettel & Secede. A metaphor for death, Transition takes visitors on a journey from one world into the next.
Body Paint by Memo Akten – Playing on our natural instinct to express ourselves through movement and dance, Body Paint interprets our physical gestures into evolving compositions. Body Paint is about interaction experience, captured through this motion and the energy of the body.
Come Together by Michael Murphy – Come Together is a symbol of the power of collectivity. The artwork depicts the raised fist of Michael Murphy’s girlfriend at the Women’s March in early 2017.
The Last Word by Illegal Art – The Last Word is an invitation to share thoughts left unsaid. Thousands of tightly rolled pieces of paper, dyed red on one end and left untouched on the other offer an opportunity to anonymously complete your conversations or explore the unexpressed sentiments of others.
Myrkviðr by Yasuhiro Chida – An illuminated aluminum ring suspended by countless pieces of fishing line. The light from the ring reflects off of the fishing line in an infinite variety of ways depending on the viewer’s position. The artwork has no intended meaning and is instead meant to be experienced in an immediate, purely visual way.
Daydream v2 by NONOTAK Studio – Daydream v2 is an audiovisual installation that distorts space, blurring the lines between what is digital and what is real. The piece transports visitors into a new dimension, making them feel as if they are being teleported into another world.
Sweepers Clock by Maarten Baas – Sweepers Clock is a videotaped performance of two handymen sweeping trash for twelve hours, presenting time in the format of a physical, labor-intensive process. Sweepers Clock is a part of the series of films, Real Time, which are 12-hour performances indicating the time.
In order to create a safe environment for our visitors and team, Wonderspaces Philadelphia has implemented comprehensive health and cleanliness protocols consistent with government recommendations. Please note that these protocols may change over time as new guidance from health authorities becomes available. Protocols currently in place for the reopening include:
* Reduced number of visitors: In accordance with state and city guidance, we have reduced our maximum occupancy to 5 people per 1,000 square feet.
* Face coverings required: All visitors and team members are required to wear a face-covering while inside our space at all times. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own face covering. Those who do not have their own will be provided with one at reception. Anyone with a medical condition prohibiting the use of a face covering will be provided with a face shield at reception. Anyone refusing to use a face covering or face shield will be asked to leave the show.
* Social distancing: Our show will be designed around social distancing, and include the following measures:
Face-to-face interactions between visitors and our team will be limited to our reception where there are plexiglass barriers.
Groups will be spaced 6 feet apart in all lines, seatings, and exhibits.
All furniture and common spaces will be spread out.
We will provide a suggested directional flow through our space.
Our employees will observe social distancing when working in the space or meeting with other team members.
* Hand sanitizer stations: Hand sanitizer will be made available to all visitors at reception and wherever the visitor is presented with an opportunity to touch artwork.
* Temperature and symptoms check: All visitors and team members will check their temperature before entering the show. Anyone who registers a body temperature greater than 100.4 will be denied entrance. Team members feeling unwell or exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home. Visitors feeling unwell or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms may reschedule for another day or have their tickets refunded.
* Frequent cleaning: We regularly sanitize all surfaces frequently touched by the team and public.
* Tickets sold online only: All tickets will be sold either online in advance or, to accommodate walk-up visitors, at our cashless kiosk outside our front door.
* No cash. All transactions are credit- or debit-card only.
* Reduced touchpoints:
Visitors can opt to use their own phones instead of touching our screens to submit liability waivers or to submit feedback.
Our bag and coat check will be temporarily closed.
* No group discounts: We have temporarily suspended group discounts to discourage groups of 10 or more visiting together.
Shin said, “We will continue to pay close attention to the recommendations of government authorities and will amend these policies as new information becomes available. Our goal is to provide a safe and welcoming environment in which all visitors can enjoy extraordinary art.”
Tickets, memberships and health/safety information are available at Wonderspaces Philadelphia’s website, at https://philadelphia.