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Over the past six years, NEW INC, the New Museum’s cultural incubator, has attracted top talents who have been exploring storytelling through digital tools including AR, VR, projection mapping, spatial audio, and motion capture. NEW INC alumni and members have been a driving force in defining this emergent culture including award-winning studios Scatter, New Reality Co, Dave&Gabe, Sensorium, Superbright, Hyphen Labs, and artists such as Stephanie Dinkins, Eliza McNitt, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, and Rachel Rossin.

The Deep Listener, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, 2019

Among the accomplishments from past NEW INC members, Eliza McNitt, along with producer Darren Aronofsky, created Spheres, the first VR experience to be acquired for seven-figures by Sundance, and Scatter is the inventor of the widely used volumetric film-capture hardware product, Depthkit, which they launched during their tenure at NEW INC. The Onassis Foundation has invested through the years in exploring contemporary art and the dialectical relationship between multimedia, digital, mixed reality and hybrid artistic practices.

This week, Onassis USA and the New Museum have announced a major new partnership to create a space for artists, filmmakers, and designers working in mixed reality, dubbed ONX Studio. ONX Studio will operate as an accelerator, a subsidised workspace and exhibition hall located in the Onassis Gallery of Olympic Tower, Manhattan. Set to open in late spring 2020, it will house a dozen artists and producers, including NEW INC alumni and others working in mixed reality, for a year-long term to develop significant works for the public realm.

Designed by the NYC-based architectural firm Leong Leong, the ONX Studio, a 4,000-square-feet space, will provide an accelerator for this growing community of mixed reality artists where they will be able to develop, beta test, and demo their works in a presentation gallery for curators, producers, collectors, and agencies. Members will host open houses and salons where the community can share best practices and foster a network and support system.

ONX’s vision will be steered by NEW INC’s Director Stephanie Pereira, its cofounder Karen Wong, Onassis USA Artistic and Executive Director Vallejo Gantner, and the Onassis Foundation’s Head of Digital and Innovation Prodromos Tsiavos. Lisa Phillips, Director of the New Museum commented, “ONX Studio is an evolution of what we have learned and experienced at NEW INC. In New York City, bespoke space for artists who are working in mixed reality is scarce. The Onassis Foundation had the vision to bridge this gap, and their commissioning expertise will be invaluable as we explore new avenues for these hybrid digital and physical experiences.”

The studio space will transform into a mixed reality gallery every year for a month-long showcase featuring ONX members. The first major showcase is planned for winter 2020.  

Feature image courtesy Leong Leong Architecture

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