Sensory Stories at the Museum of Moving Image
Unless you’re already living in Queens, it’s probably safe to say that it’ll take something pretty spectacular to motivate a trip out to Astoria. Without a doubt, that spectacular-something is the Sensory Stories exhibition at the Museum of Moving Image.
The museum puts on a show that explores the relationship between the storytelling experience and technological innovation. However, this isn’t just an art piece hanging on the wall with nearby tablets of information. MOMI came set with a checklist of particulars needed for each of the seventeen exhibits. Is it immersive? Does it push the envelope? Is it offering a completely unique experience all its own?
For instance, right in the lobby is a monument to the entire idea behind the show. Sitting there like a souped-up massage table, Birdly, which is only available on specific days, utilizes virtual reality technology and other effects to create a bird-like experience of you soaring over the Manhattan cityscape. Your arms and body drive you, helping you gain altitude and avoid skyscrapers. The sound and sensation of the wind rushing over your body adds exhilaration to the adventure. This installation lets you step outside of yourself and pushes your perceptive reality to new heights.
Some experiences take storytelling just a bit over the horizon with new technology. Herders, Clouds over Sidra, and Evolution of Verse are all short films, but they are being helmed by filmmakers embracing the medium of virtual reality. Herders wants to introduce you to the culture of the Mongolian nomad, but they want to do it by letting you sit among them in the fields as their yaks graze around you. Evolution of Verse aims to thrill you with iconic scenes from other famous filmmakers, but they are being re-imagined for this immersive technology, which generates a more heightened response.
Others, like the Google Cube and Bear 71, take things in a completely different and unexpected place. For these exhibits, the tools and programs are newer, the setups are unfamiliar and the stories become unique to each individual user. With Google Cube, for example, there are six different, overlapping stories running concurrently, and each story coincides with a specific side of the cube. As the person holding the cube, you become the narrator on which stories get told and how they’re told. You can choose to watch one story from start to finish or twist the cube around for a unique perspective or for an opportunity to watch multiple stories play out as one.
This show brings something fresh and new to the museum landscape. Where most museums pay homage to the past and present, the Museum of Moving Image puts on a show that looks at the future. With exhibitions of interactive films and installations, Sensory Stories is an amazing opportunity to see how storytelling and entertainment are evolving with technology. Go check it out, it’s worth the trip to Queens.
Sensory Stories at Museum of Moving Image is available from April 18, 2015 until July 26, 2015, for further information visit here.