Chelsea Market’s boiler room will transform into hallucinatory digital art space

Renderings of ARTECHOUSE show an immersive atmosphere by  Refik Anadol below the Chelsea Market. Photo Credit: ARTECHOUSE / Refik Anadol

Starting this summer, visitors will descend into the boiler room to see cutting-edge exhibits like Turkish artist Refik Anadol’s “Machine Hallucination.”

Renderings of ARTECHOUSE show an immersive atmosphere by  Refik Anadol below the Chelsea Market.
Renderings of ARTECHOUSE show an immersive atmosphere by  Refik Anadol below the Chelsea Market. Photo Credit: NBC / Trae Patton

A new subterranean digital art space is bringing new meaning to "underground art."

Digital art presenter ARTECHOUSE is opening its first exhibition space in New York City within Chelsea Market’s boiler room — a 6,000-square-foot area beneath the market’s main concourse.

Starting in August, visitors will descend into the boiler room to see cutting-edge and experiential exhibits, like Turkish artist Refik Anadol’s "Machine Hallucination," which will be the first show in the new space.

Anadol’s work uses artificial intelligence/machine learning to display architectural "hallucinations" using 3 million 3D images. The exhibit is meant to explore how knowledge can be experienced spatially and challenges conventional ideas about "space."

ARTECHOUSE will be housed in Chelsea Market's historic boiler room -- a 6,000-square-foot space beneath the Market's main concourse that show cutting-edge and experiential exhibitions.
ARTECHOUSE will be housed in Chelsea Market’s historic boiler room — a 6,000-square-foot space beneath the Market’s main concourse that show cutting-edge and experiential exhibitions. Photo Credit: ARTECHOUSE / Refik Anadol

Anadol said he is proud to be the first to exhibit.

"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 said in a statement.

Anadol’s work is topical and relevant, said Sandro Kereselidze, ARTECHOUSE founder and art director.

"It’s about understanding what data is and how much data we are leaving behind," he told amNewYork on Wednesday. "I’ve been working with him over a year now to try to figure out how we can do something that would be groundbreaking. The goal is really to make people understand data and artificial intelligence and how they work together in the 21st century."

The boiler room’s brick walls and terracotta ceiling will work well for what ARTECHOUSE is planning, Kereselidze said.

“Bringing ARTECHOUSE to New York was a clear next step for our mission,” he said in a statement. “Utilizing Chelsea Market’s hub within the storied art-centric neighborhood of Chelsea, we’re looking to bring a new kind of art experience to New York. Refik Anadol’s boundary-pushing concepts are in line with ARTECHOUSE’s commitment to expand what is possible in an art exhibition and experience environment.”

ARTECHOUSE has showcased digital art exhibitions by a range of artists in Washington, D.C., Albuquerque and Miami, and Anadol has teamed up with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for an immersive exhibition covering its history, among other projects.

This venue will have a rotating schedule of exhibitions that will change on a quarterly basis.

This isn’t the first time the Chelsea Market has housed something fun in its lower level — last fall, the Chelsea Music Hall moved into its basement. The venue hosts live performances across genres, from music to theater and more.

Shaye Weaver