It’s almost a cliché to say this, but the best art does more than just look appealing. It reaches into your brain and soul and won’t let go. You’ll still be thinking about it days later trying to piece together what exactly you experienced. Arcadia Earth, a fully immersive art installation focused on environmental issues, is exactly that kind of experience.
Experiential artist Valentino Vettori is the brain behind the design of this 15-room journey examining the plight of our planet. Human scale art installations, many of them making use of augmented and virtual reality, overpower your senses, and force you to contemplate the subject matter.
Each of the rooms has been created to highlight a specific challenge facing our environment—challenges including overfishing, plastic pollution, food waste, deforestation and climate change.
An impressive roster of environmental artists—Samuelle Green, Tamara Kotianovsky, Etty Yaniv, Cindy Pease Roe, Poramit Thantapalit, Jesse Harrod, Justin Bolognino/META, Katie Donahue, Katharina Hoerath, Charlotte Becket and Emmy Mikelson—have worked to use upcycled and reusable materials to create their awe-inspiring pieces.
One room hits particularly close to home for New Yorkers, a cave created out of 44,000 recycled plastic bags by artist Basia Goszczynska that reflects upon the New York state ban on bags. That number isn’t just a coincidence either, 44,000 is the number of bags that New Yorkers use every single minute!
Each installation makes you confront the damage that we are doing to our planet on a daily basis. While it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, that’s not the point, and each installation contains a placard with tips for what you can do to help on a daily basis.
Arcadia Earth has partnered with Oceanic Global, a non-profit dedicated to ocean conservation, and proceeds from all ticket sales will go to further raise awareness about how humans are damaging our ecosystem.
Arcadia Earth is located at 718 Broadway and is open to the public through January 2020. Tickets for general admission are $33, student tickets are $27 and tickets for children ages 6-14 are $12.
Foto: Arcadia Earth, David Mitchell