It is often said that art can take you on a journey. When it comes to the work of Studio Kaleida, this saying is even truer than usual.
The innovative studio specializes in limited edition prints that reveal animated digital illustrations when activated with a personalized smartphone app. After a quick download, the app allows viewers to wave their phones past the prints to trigger light-spotted journeys through forests, whimsical plants, moving animals, and other fantastic scenes. The experience falls somewhere between a two-dimensional tactile and vivid cinematic experience.
The studio is currently exhibiting examples of these moving pieces (literally) on the first and second floors of Time Out Market New York. Market customers can download the Kaleida app, which uses Violet immersive reality technology, to activate the rooms and see the fascinating works for themselves.
“We hope we can generate some excitement around what art can be,” said Kaleido Studio Executive Director Julie Gratz. “In terms of NFT and cryptocurrency, the fine art and digital art worlds are all on hold. I think AR art is exciting because it is able to push the boundaries of what is possible, not only in digital art but also with physical art. You can own a physical impression and have it with you, but also activate it and step into this digital world.
Earlier this summer, Kaleido Studio brought this technology to the captivating Brooklyn Heights exhibit. Not a second more, which brought the stories of 12 LGBTQ + seniors to life through portraits visible via AR. Seeing these photographs, taken by German photographer Karsten Thormaehlen, activated with an extra layer of technology has dramatically enriched the viewing experience. By bringing the photographs to life, they were able to give a stronger and more captivating voice to the subjects.
“I tried to get involved in projects that were more focused on healing, health and mindfulness,” says Gratz. “From the start, I’ve always felt a little guilty about asking people to be more in front of their phones. It helps that we can use technology for healing and connection. Plus, people like to engage in art in this way so much that they end up engaging in every piece. It sounds like more active participation.
Gratz was first introduced to the technology that makes Kaleida Studio pieces possible in 2018. She soon realized that this would be an ideal way to display animation in a gallery space, an art form that was previously displayed through more detached media such as projections, television screens and at special film festival events. Thanks to this format, artistic animations could be more easily experienced alongside other fine art on the gallery walls.
“In each of my pieces, I try to do something more than the last,” says Gratz. “Whether it’s through camera movements or how to build space. I started to see the reactions being very successful when viewers started to feel like they were going beyond the physical limits of the wall.
You can stop by the Time Out Market New York at 55 Water St in DUMBO every day of the week to see for yourself this artistic pushing beyond.