The New Museum, whose existence has coincided with a rush of the art world down to the Lower East Side, remains steadfast in its mission to present breakthrough art concepts. But it has just added something a little different to the mix: augmented reality, and the effervescent bubbles of France’s oldest Champagne estate, Ruinart.
In a bold collaboration between an epicurean classic and artists pushing us towards new ideas and ways of seeing the world, the Ruinart x NEW INC Forever First Mixed Reality Pop-Up has just made its auspicious debut at the venerable NYC museum.
The partnership was indeed inaugurated this past weekend with a splashy event in the Sky Room, which was transformed into an exploratory lounge space, bringing together the art and fashion world elite (Heidi Lee, Hannah Levy, Timo Weiland, Ash Owens) with tech biz leaders, to preview the award-winning virtual reality project Tree—by NEW INC alumni team Milica Zec and Winslow Porter—and a totally new augmented reality experience Dawn Chorus—by Reese Donohue in collaboration with artist Sarah Meyohas, with both installations exploring the intersection of humanity and nature.
If you’ve ever wondered what would it be like to be a tree in the rainforest, Tree facilitates the transformation via touch, sight, sound and smell, whilst bringing attention to the harsh realities of contemporary deforestation. The multi-sensory Dawn Chorus places users among virtual birds flocking around a real, physical Yamaha piano. Harmony of visuals and sound allow for the exploration of different perceptions of frequencies of musical scales, and the movements of said birds.
The pop-up will be open to the public Saturday, February 1 and Sunday, February 2, and available to all ticket holders on a first come, first served basis. In another first for the museum, the pop-up will actually feature a Ruinart Champagne bar, where visitors can purchase Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Rosé champagne to sip while they experience the artworks…only heightening the overall sensorial effects.
For Ruinart as a company, it is yet another in a long tradition of art patronage—which, in these times of dwindling public arts budgets, is a particularly welcome thing.