21c Museum Hotel embraces new year with art, technology

On New Year's Eve, 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati offered a bold, one-of-a-kind, one-night-only New Year’s Eve event: a virtual reality experience called MOMENTUM featuring virtual-reality acquisitions and new-media works from local artists that were shown throughout the museum and event spaces.

One MOMENTUM exhibit, "Primal Tourism" by Danish installation artist Jakob Kudsk Stensen, took attendees on a first-person journey from a minimalist Scandinavian apartment where the protagonist hears the sound of a mosquito before collapsing and waking up on the island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia.

The entire experience was created in virtual reality using satellite images, a logbook from the 1722 East India Trading Company expedition, travel journals and other research into what the climate will be like in the future on an abandoned landscape. The work was developed over eight months using Unreal Engine, one of the industry’s leading computer game development software programs.
The goal of MOMENTUM was to offer as much substance as fun, with traditional New Year’s merrymaking of drinking and dancing coupled with fantasy, technology, ecology and art interactivity — a combination Cincinnatians would struggle to find anywhere else.

The event, produced in collaboration with IRL Gallery and Modern Makers, was a roaring and engaging success according to 21c curators, who said they anticipate adding more virtual reality events to their upcoming calendar.
If you missed the event and want to learn more about the "Primal Tourism" exhibit, check out www.jakobsteensen.com/work.
Coming soon to Metropole: A Global Gathering: The 21c Collection, will open on Friday, Jan. 27. It will be a multimedia exhibition of highlights from the permanent collection exploring portraiture and identity, power and politics and the evolution of the environment. Eighty works by artists from all over the world will be on view. The Final Friday celebration will start at 6 p.m. with a tour by Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites, and doors will stay open late with snacks, drinks and music.
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