The WNDR Museum has finally reopened and is here to stay with new art pieces that reflect on the virtual world that a majority of consumers experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, the WNDR museum had just moved to Chicago in 2019. The interactive art experience is described as an opportunity for everyone to find the art in themselves and create a platform for up and coming art creators.
One the most famous exhibits is done by the iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known for her creation of infinity rooms. Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit in the WNDR Museum is called “Let’s Survive Forever.” Created in 2017, the exhibit takes place in a single room completely filled with mirrors and stainless steel balls. The exhibit creates the illusion of infinite mirrors surrounding you, a result of the mirrors reflecting against each other.
While Kusama is the most known attraction, other pieces of artwork are growing in popularity due to their work displayed in the WNDR Museum.
ANTIBODIES is a new piece that came out this year, pinpointing the disconnection humans experience through technology, specifically through video conference calls. The art piece is designed to look like a “virtual get-together” that scans your face and projects it on the screen in layers with haunting audio. The walls then add your face with the faces of previous visitors to make a “gallery of disembodied human beings.”
Hannah Shanker, the Curatorial Coordinator and social media manager, said she is excited for museum-goers to finally experience ANTIBODIES..
“The first piece was created out of quarantine and has a very interesting commentary, based on how social interaction changes,” Shanker said. “They created it based on video chats and how we use to socialize you would only see who you’re talking to, but video chats, you just see yourself. So that’s where facial tracking comes in, very important commentary on things like how the world is evolving and how we interact with each other.”
Shanker started working at the WNDR museum in February 2019 and told the DePaulia she believes museums like WNDR are important for the future of art where everyone can interact through their own perspective.
“We like to disrupt the traditional museum experience with the intersection of art and technology,” Shanker said. “As you walk through most of the work isn’t completed without your interaction so we truly believe that everyone that comes here is an artist, and is capable of being a part of something bigger.”
The WNDR museum has been judged as just an “Instagram” museum because of the idea that people go to take photos of themselves. Shanker told the DePaulia she believes it should be up to each individual how they want to explore WNDR.
“I’m not here to dictate how people decide they want to interact with art like I don’t think it’s cool to hate on something that other people find joy in,” Shanker said. “We do get people who come here just to take pictures and then we do get people who come here looking for deeper meaning and anyone can find what they’re looking for here.”
Shanker’s favorite piece at the moment is “I heard there was a secret chord” by WNDR Studios
Which is a dark room filled with microphones of virtual people humming to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” based on the data of how many people are listening to the song at the same time.
Along with these new art exhibits, a couple of fan favorites from before the pandemic are still thriving and full of people snapping photos.
AMES, made in 2018 is the optical illusion room that distorts size when two people go in and the WNDR light floor, made up of over 100 LED motion censored panels creating waves when you walk across the bright colored floor are just two of the iconic and “instagrammable” at the WNDR Museum.
The WNDR museum is never going to be the same experience as the art pieces are always changing and creating new ways to express art into our lives. With the theme of finding the artist in yourself, the WNDR museum curates a long lasting impression on everyone who gets to experience it.