Art is a predominantly visual experience, as there is a profound connection between those who create and those who admire. For the most part, this relationship has always existed on a ‘no touching, sniffing, or licking” basis.
The Tate Britain is taking innovation to the next level with a new exhibition where visitors can use all five senses to experience art with full bodily engagement.
Each year, the museum awards an IK Prize to creators with new and ingenious ideas revolving around the interaction between technology, art from Tate collections, and humans.
This year’s award went to British creative studio team Flying Object for their exhibit The Tate Sensorium, which will be the Tate’s first-ever immersive art experience. The exhibit is a carefully timed 15 minute experience where groups of four will be led through specific rooms and given the corresponding elements to help experience all five senses with the art. There aim is to “explore the way the senses interrelate to influence the overall gallery experience.”
SIGHT: Visitors will view the exhibit the old fashioned way…with their eyes.
TASTE: Edible chocolates by famous chocolatier Paul Young will be given out and are designed to peak certain textural meanings on your taste buds pertaining to the specific work.
SCENT: Scent expert Odette Toilette created bespoke “natural” scents will be lightly flowing throughout the rooms to encourage the viewer’s dialogue with the paintings.
SOUND: Directional audio systems by Hypersound are placed in each room to provide only those in that particular room with the corresponding sounds (with help from audio specialist Nick Ryan and theater maker Annette Mees).
TOUCH: Technically you still can’t “touch” that art. Instead, developers from Ultrahaptics created ultrasound wave producing speakers that slightly vibrate the viewer’s hands without wearing any gloves or wired equipment. Body responsive electrodermal measuring wristbands also offer scientific data on the viewer’s reaction to a work.
The four paintings featured (in order) are; Richard Hamilton’s Interior II (1964), John Latham’s Full Stop (1961), David Bomberg’s In the Hold (1914), and in the last room will be Figure in a Landscape (1945) by Francis Bacon.
This unique and innovative exhibit will be open until September 20, 2015. Visit the Tate Sensorium webpage if you care to read more in detail about the technology and science behind the exhibition.