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Event 23: TeamLab Planet…welcome to immersive art – “it is the future that began yesterday”

To evoke emotions is exactly what events are all about. Trigger something that is not usually triggered to give people a sense of “WOW”, “not normal journey” and packaged to create an unforgettable experience…that is exactly what I got to experience at TeamLab…welcome to an out of the body experience…


What was the event?

The event was TeamLab Planets which was an immersive and constructed emotional process that allowed me to be part of a digital art production that was more than just a social activity – it was an event that allowed everyone to immerse. In Tokyo this event was more than just a social activity – it was a destination and a tourist attraction – that had became “Tokyo’s perfect instagram photo”.


What happened at the event?

The event about human immersion of art but the routes of this activity and event was based on the combination of science and art. The company founded in 2001 and together as an interdisciplinary group of ultratechnologists have collaborated to create a production that is unique, immersive and absolutely amazing. However – what was there aim? On the website they highlight that the digital domain can create a new relationship with people. This is exactly the feeling I got as I walked through and entered barefooted into the most amazing experience that I have ever had with art in my life…

I was fortunate to be able to share this experience with Sam a very good friend from back home and her friend Kari who were just as experienced to be part of this immersive experience here in Tokyo.


Taking my shoes off it was all very prescribed but when you enter and walk up a ramp with a waterfall of water soaking your feet you are immediately engaged and in the zone for what is next? With the intent of not limiting the possibilities for art interacting with physical engagement Teamlab is all about pushing boundaries and creating opportunities for new things. Now this may sound complicated and a bit mhmmm?– but imagine taking your shoes off and the freedom. Walking through a dark area you then enter into a lightly dimmed room and its large bean bags. Yes that’s right all bean bags. The only thing you can do – jump in. Be free. With music, sound control, light and the sense of touch being constructively engaged we see a clever five room experience.

As the rooms continue emotions are triggered such as surprise, excitement and being anxious to understanding what is next – but in a positive way. Walking through a room with lights and mirrors and a light production show was something that firstly is an instagram models dream – literally. But its also looking at how people interact and engage with an event which is immersive, digital art.

Interaction between the person and art is important here. Its about the person becoming part of the artwork – as it says on the website for TeamLab. But I can absolutely confirm that is the case – because you become part of the art to make your experience of engaging with the art. The white large balls moved wherever you walked and the water that was up to your knee moved when you moved. We know technology as ways of communication but tonight I saw the capacity of technology being art.


Anything else happen at the event?

Immersive theatre is actually something that is growing and in research completed some years back it highlights that sensory and imaginative engagement gives the consumer something that is more than just immersion. Mirrors, large blown up white balls, light cables, water, illumination show and beanbags are the objects used to create a meaningful and purposive environment for the consumer to encounter. Sensory is on the up because people want more from just going to something. And that was exactly the case for me. I want to see, listen and experience events that are not globally the same but then share it with you – the millions of people interested in what events really are.

I had to make sure I listened to instructions, complete tasks, have my trousers at a certain heights, not do things – to enjoy and participate. This means the instructions are getting me anxious (positively) into what will I be doing. I had no prior knowledge. Both physical and psychological positioning of the consumer is instrumentally organised by the organizer in techniques that allow smooth engagement for sensory and intent immersion. TeamLab have put in process touch points that allow this event to be special. It allows art to be alive. It allows art to be the consumer and actually art be more than just a painting. It allows a projection show on the ceiling of a large room to be art that is coming to life and flowers falling to you as you lie on a mirrored floor.

Here is a question – are immersive art galleries going to put art galleries out of business and actually put them into museums? Immersion in events is moving fast and now that you can stand in the middle of art is of more interest (just an opinion) than going to an art gallery. Music concerts through VR and not actually needing to go. E Sports have being doing this for years with people still thinking it “was just gaming”. Now art is more than “just art”.

We are now living in an instagram perfect picture society so really for people wanting to show there friends something “different” – this is it. How I engaged with the live art activations – was all about the photo. This is to say – “I was there”, “I was art” and “I immersed and experienced this”. Are you jealous? You should go! It does all of that and more for people watching and for people telling the story.


One thing to take away…

More immersive art productions need to be produced because this can allow art to be accessed and allow a new generation to engage and enjoy art differently. The future methods on consumption can be adapted from the past to have a method that is forward thinking to deliver different type but with the same product.

What is your interpretation of art?…because means has now changed…


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