The Pantone Color Institute has figured out a new way for people to dive into Classic Blue through “Submerge,” an installation made possible by Artechouse.
Opening to the public Wednesday, the multisensory experience magnifies Pantone’s Color of the Year. The immersive experience was produced by Artechouse in collaboration with Intus Interactive Design. Thanks to Barco-powered, ultrahigh-resolution, megapixel laser projection technology, visitors will be surrounded by floor-to-ceiling images. During the installation’s three-week run, 15,000 people are expected to dive into the deep blue setting. Tickets cost between $17 and $24.
In an interview Monday, Artechouse’ art director Sandro Kereselidze noted how Classic Blue is a 21st-century color, in that it is used a lot indoors [via smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices] and also seen a lot outdoors in nature, making it doubly inspiring. Having spearheaded “Submerge,” he said, “We are adding this layer that surrounds us. It’s kind of augmented. We are living in the digital age, and we see a lot of things from screens. We have never really done anything that can be done outside of the screen, and be around you — also touching you.”
While Classic Blue is the predominant shade, Artechouse used other colors from Pantone’s soon-to-be-released Fall Color Trend Report, such as Blue Depths and Sleet. The immersive experience appears to be reminiscent of walking through the skyward part of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
Submerge will be located at Artechouse NYC’s location in Chelsea Market’s former boiler room at 439 W 15th Street. Referring to the private media viewing tonight — a few days before the official start of New York Fashion Week, Kereselidze said, “The Pantone Color Institute has always been inspirational for a lot of creatives, designers and the fashion world. We are adding something new to the public to experience the color in the digital format. It really speaks to 21st-century innovation and where we’re heading and what the possibilities are.”
The Submerge experience will run until Feb. 23. To emphasize how the multisensory approach is revolutionary, Kereselidze cited how 120 years ago, early moviegoers ran from the theater, after seeing a train approaching on the screen and thinking that it was headed for them. “This new expression of storytelling is groundbreaking in a way in that all the senses are elevated to a very new level,” he said.
From Pantone’s standpoint, Classic Blue is reflective of dependability, trustworthiness and blue skies ahead. Announcing the Color of the Year in December, Leatrice Eiseman spoke of how the psychological influence of color on people’s daily lives is undeniable. At that time, she emphasized how many people can have a visceral reaction to different colors. Synesthesia — where one of the five senses can involuntarily trigger a reaction in another one of the senses — is integral to color, she said then time.
Visitors will also have the option of literally drinking in the installation at an augmented reality bar. There, they will find five Submerge-inspired blue drinks — for about $8 a pop. Nonalcoholic libations like “Serenity,” which is infused with frankincense, will be among the options. Visitors will be able to use their smartphones to download the Artechouse app “to activate their drinks” with AR — as in animations conceived with the artists among other features. They can also use the app to activate invisible art around Classic Blue-colored $60 fleece hoodies and $55 fleece crewneck pullovers that will be available for sale.
More than anything else, Submerge’s takeaway is meant to be a greater appreciation for color through the experience. As is the case with every artist, the aim is to inspire people, create conversations and enable them to walk away having experienced something they have never done before, Kereselidze said.
Sales from tickets, drinks and the Classic Blue-inspired merchandise will go to Artechouse, a Pantone spokeswoman said.