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In 2015, Tati Pastukhova and Sandro Kereselidze dreamed up ARTECHOUSE. The new-age art destination, dedicated to showcasing works by groundbreaking artists who work with groundbreaking technology, serves the creative world a new dose of expression. Think interactive video installations that span floor to ceiling, an augmented reality bar, and an app that unlocks technical features. In 2017, the duo opened its first location in Washington, D.C., and just a year later, opened its second location in Miami. This September, they will open debut a space in New York—in the heart of the arts district, inside the Chelsea Market. For them, the goal is to create a space for 21st-century art—emphasizing the intersection of art, science, and technology—and to inspire, educate, and empower visitors by exploring the latest and best works of art and tech.
Whitewall spoke with Pastukhova and Kereselidze about the museum’s founding, and how they see technology shaping the future of the art space.
WHITEWALL: Why did you want to start something tech-related for the art world?
SANDRO KERESELIDZE: We see technology as a new powerful tool for artists and creatives of today—a tool that not only empowers them with new ways of creating and storytelling, but one that is very relevant to the time and the world we live in. Technology plays an important role in our everyday lives; however, seeing a void of spaces and platforms dedicated to showcasing and supporting this new medium, we were compelled to create one. Thus we dedicated our art space to the arts and tech.
WW: Can you tell us a bit about the evolution of the spaces?
TATI PASTUKHOVA: Our location in D.C. was built as part of a larger complex with an intended arts use, however, it was never activated and was sitting empty for over 25 years. It was monumental for us to revive it and make it into the first digital art space in the city and the U.S.
Our location in Miami Beach is an Art Deco–style historic building built in 1921. Once a bustling destination with movie theaters and cultural spaces, the Miami Beach area has suffered a downturn but is now going through a major cultural revitalization, and we were honored to be recognized by the City of Miami Beach as a vital addition to the city’s growing arts and culture.
The New York space is in Chelsea and at the center of the city’s art community. The space is an old boiler room inside the Chelsea Market. It was never repurposed or occupied since the original use.
WW: What do the locations have on view this summer?
TP: This summer we are presenting two exhibitions by an award-winning Los Angeles–based, Turkish-born artist, Refik Anadol, with one opening at our D.C. location and another one launching our New York City space. Our team has been working with Refik for over a year on these two concepts, and it is exciting to finally see both come together.
“Infinite Space,” which will be on view in Washington, D.C., through September 2, is a retrospective of Refik’s work to date. The exhibition features his worldwide traveling immersive installation titled “Infinity Room,” seen by more than a million people around the world, including a half million during a tour in China alone last year; three infinity boxes; and a selection of multimedia works spanning his celebrated career.
“Machine Hallucinations,” which will be artist’s first solo presentation in New York City, will inaugurate the opening of our New York location in August 2019. The exhibition will feature brand-new work created just for this new space. It has an interesting allegory, as the space ARTECHOUSE will occupy is an old boiler room within Chelsea Market that has been vacant for many years, ever since it stopped serving its main purpose. The exhibition will tell the story of this dormant space dreaming for all these years of past and present as the other buildings were built and changed.
The exhibition is a synesthetic reality experiment deploying machine learning algorithms on a dataset of more than three million images—representing a wide-ranging selection of architectural styles and movements—to reveal the hidden connections between these moments in architectural history. As the machine generates a data universe of architectural hallucinations in 512 dimensions, it begins to explore the ways in which knowledge can be experienced spatially. ARTECHOUSE will utilize the state-of-the-art technology to create an unprecedented exhibition space and platform for digital artists.
WW: Where do you think the future of tech-related art is heading?
SK: Technology is one of the fastest-evolving tools, and in the near future we will start to see more and more creations made with it. However, we will be faced with tough decisions on what is the definition of tech-related art. Not everything that is created with technology is or will be “art,” and it is up to us to develop taste and create ways to differentiate and appreciate it. And for ARTECHOUSE it is at the core of our mission to be the place where the public will engage with true art and will learn about the artists who are pioneering this new medium.