Chelsea Market ‘art matrix’ takes shape

A look at “Machine Hallucination,” an immersive experience featuring digital art. (Photo by Gabe Herman)

BY GABE HERMAN | A new digital art space has opened in Chelsea Market. The space is in the Market’s Boiler Room, which is 6,000 square feet and located beneath the main concourse.

The space is being run by ARTECHOUSE, an American company that presents digital artworks. The first piece, “Machine Hallucination,” by Refik Anadol, a Turkish artist based in Los Angeles, debuted Fri., Sept. 6.

“Machine Hallucination” creates an immersive experience for visitors by projecting computer-generated images on the walls and floor all around the big open room. The images are constantly changing and morph into each other, including recreated images of New York City, along with random futuristic-looking geometric patterns.

The new art space is in Chelsea Market’s Boiler Room. (Photo by Gabe Herman)

As spectators stand or sit in the room, images swirl all around and change, as loud ambient music plays. The effect is mesmerizing and may be a little disorienting at times, especially for those prone to dizziness or vertigo.

The created images of the city come from more than 3 million New York archival images that were fed into machines and algorithms, to create images that seem like real New York landscapes but are actually just a close facsimile. The idea is to create a dreamlike effect reminiscent of New York, and also to show the changing city over time, and how changes affect our memories of the city.

Inside the constantly changing “Machine Hallucination” immersive-art experience. (Photo by Gabe Herman)

“I feel privileged to be chosen as the inaugural artist for ARTECHOUSE’s newest space,” said Anadol, the artist. “I’m especially proud to be the first to reimagine this historic building, which is more than 100 years old.

“By employing machine intelligence to help narrate the hybrid relationship between architecture and our perception of time and space, ‘Machine Hallucination’ offers the audience a glimpse into the future of architecture itself,” he added.

A monitor in the exhibition showing a computer-generated image of New York. (Photo by Gabe Herman)

“We are excited to introduce this first-generation space for such an engaging, dynamic concept,” said Michael Phillips, president of  Jamestown, a real estate company. “Rooted in art and technology, ARTECHOUSE is a welcome addition to the integrated culture of Chelsea Market and the local community.”

Jamestown sold the Chelsea Market building to Google last year but it continues to manage the Chelsea Market food hall.

The “Machine Hallucination” exhibition will run until Dec. 1. Tickets are $24 for adults, $17 for children and $20 for students, seniors and members of the military. The entrance for the exhibit is along the side of the Chelsea Market building, at 439 W. 15th St., between Ninth and 10th Aves.

Through digital art, the “Machine Hallucinations” exhibit plays with depth and perspective. (Photo by Gabe Herman)

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