There is a museum for just about everything if you look hard enough, but these attractions take the traditional experience of passively viewing art and flip it on its head. They encourage visitors to interact with the exhibits—at a safe distance from others and with a variety of new safety measures in place such as disinfectants, one-way traffic plans, reduced visitor capacity and more—and experience art in a new way. As museums begin to open their doors after months of going dark, here are some of the most interesting immersive art experiences around the world—from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Melbourne, Australia.
1. House of Eternal Return
Sante Fe, New Mexico
This interactive art experience by the entertainment company Meow Wolf was partially funded by Game of Thrones creator, George R.R. Martin, so you know it will be wildly exciting. The journey begins after guests step into what looks to be a Victorian home and then through a refrigerator door to explore more than 70 rooms. Reopening plans are underway, but no date has yet been announced.
2. Factory Obscura
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
An art collective with interactive art curated for visitors of all ages, the current installment is called Mix-Tape and admission is a suggested donation of any amount. Visiting the self described “audio autobiography” is an experience for all your senses. One COVID-19 safety measure they’ve instituted is one-way traffic flow.
3. Infinity Mirrored Room
Temporarily closed, this exhibit from world- renowned artist Yayoi Kusama at the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of her signature experiences. Titled INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER (2017), it features mirrored spheres hanging from the ceiling and placed around the space, surrounded by walls of mirrors. A mirrored pillar in the middle of the room creates the infinite mirror effect.
4. Dalí, The Endless Enigma
Showcasing the work of the Catalan artist Salvador Dalí, this mixed-media exhibit takes visitors on a trip through the Surrealist’s prolific career from paintings to drawings to sculptures to film, all accompanied by Pink Floyd music. Open until January 3, 2021.
5. Amos Rex
Finland is known for its playful, future-forward aesthetic. Beyond the interactive exhibits within the walls of this underground art museum, the aboveground alien-cone structures act as an outdoor art playground for locals and tourists. Amos Rex is set to reopen on October 9.
6. Story of the Forest
This permanent exhibit in the National Museum of Singapore was created by teamLab, an international art collective. The exhibit transforms these 69 drawings of plants and animals commissioned in the early 1800s from Malacca, Malaysia, and Singapore into three- dimensional images that jump right off the wall.
7. MORI Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab, Borderless
With the help of over 100,000 square feet of space and hundreds of projectors and computers, this museum dedicated to digital and interactive art encourages visitors to think outside the box as they interact with a group of three-dimensional artworks. In a nod to today’s times, surfaces in the museum have been given antiviral coatings.
8. The Lume
In recent years, there have been a few iterations of virtual Van Gogh exhibits that celebrate the late artist’s work. This take will project the beloved post-impressionist’s color-rich images onto larger-than-life canvases in a fully immersive exhibit at Australia’s first interactive art museum when it opens in 2021.
Correction 9/30/20: An earlier version of this article stated Yayoi Kusama’s immersive artwork at The Art Gallery of Ontario as Let’s Survive Together, rather than INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER (2017). The image initially used to represent this exhibit was from another exhibit of Kusama’s — it has been replaced with an image that better reflects the exhibit on display in Ontario. We regret the error.