A supposedly immersive experience, ‘Transcending Boundaries’ at the Pace Gallery was a bit of a disappointment. One of those exhibitions, like the Wellcome Collection’s room of multicoloured mist, that pops up all over your Instagram and Snapchat, I was prepared for a visually stunning other world. What I got was loud children and constant drilling.
The first room I sat down in to let the autumn coloured flowers sprout and cascade over my lap. With soothing music and a dark room to accompany it, the overall effect should have been very peaceful. This was interrupted by fidgeting 5 year olds, an elderly lady complaining that she couldn’t sit down and a middle aged woman completely ignoring the ‘no flash’ request. Alone, this interactive digital art would have been spectacular, but unfortunately my experience was one distraction after another.
I did find peace in the middle room, I assume because it was the least interactive and so people tended to hover for a few seconds before moving on. The most impressive feature of the exhibition however was the waterfall. Flowing down one wall and across the floor, the digital art interacted with the audience by flowing around them. One almost magical moment was seeing a young girl chase a butterfly across the wall, jumping to try and catch the 2D image in her hand.
Overall I found the concept of this exhibition was overshadowed by the logistics. The immersive experience they were aiming for wasn’t quite achieved and this really threw the rest of the work. Although beautiful and interesting the interactive work did not leave enough of an impression and I was glad to be ushered out after my 20 minute time slot was up, if only to escape the tantrums being thrown around me.