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Dali Cybernetics Art Exhibition

The Dali cybernetics Art Exhibition (DCAE) is a world-first digital exhibition about none other than the surrealist painter, Salvador Dali. It’s an immersive experience that takes you on a journey through the Dali metaverse using projection mapping and cybernetics. 

As a digital artist I find his work interesting, some of it is totally beyond me but some I really like. So when I was in London recently for The Societies annual Convention and discovered the exhibition was on at the same time, it really was a no-brainer – I had to go and see what the fuss was all about. 

The DCAE is located at The Boiler House on Brick Lane, just across the road from the Truman’s Brewery beer garden. The entrance to the exhibition is not obvious as it’s located just around the corner on Buxton Street. It’s billed as being an immersive experience that allows you to step into his paintings, a description that doesn’t really to do it justice. There are 3 parts to it; the first bit I didn’t get to experience all of it as a bit of it wasn’t working when I was there, then there was the immersive room, followed by a 10-minute, virtual reality, metaverse experience? It was mind blowing!

Dali Cybernetics Art Exhibition

The main exhibition

Now I haven’t seen any of the other immersive exhibitions so it was all totally new to me and I really didn’t know what to expect but boy did it exceed any expectations I might have had and then some!!

The first part of the exhibition could be described as a quick but very informative crash course on Dali. What influenced him, from science to people to technology, and everything in between, all displayed in a clear timeline and all presented alongside some of his work. There was a film of Dali being projected on to the wall, I didn’t realize that he only died in 1989! Finally, at the end of this area was an interactive art section where there were tablets for you to get creative and make your own masterpiece. Apparently you could send your finished piece to the screen for all to see once you’d finished – sadly this wasn’t working during my visit so I can’t really comment on this part but looked like it might have been fun!

Next came the immersive room which was a large space, with like a cube structure in the middle, there were lots of deck chairs and bean bags for you to enjoy the experience from. Projection mapping was cleverly used to depict various Dali works, covering floor to ceiling and all sides of the cube; it was all rather hypnotic. I actually sat through the experience 3 times but each time from a different position just so I could see what was being projected on to the other walls as different angles gave differing perspectives. Towards the end a message comes up and you’re encouraged to put on those sexy 3d glasses adding another dimension to the experience.

Again, like his works, the experience is bold and unashamedly unapologetic. It really was a joy to just sit and watch.

The metaverse

Then it was onto the metaverse. I have to say I have never experienced anything as amazing or inspiring as this at an art exhibition before. It was incredible. The VR simulation takes you through desert, sea and space, where you encounter various aspects of Dali’s art from the comfort a ship’s deck. You can wander around and smirk at all the diving helmets bobbing along with you and marvel at your shiny, copper hands (lol, I couldn’t stop looking at them). It felt very realistic. So much so that I felt like I needed to hold on the the railings when we hit a bump in the sea, and, if you do get to visit, when the giant egg appears on the deck – it really is OK to step inside it ;). Again the simulation is on a loop of 12 minutes but your headset is only set for 10 minutes so, yet again, I went in a 2nd time as it wasn’t too busy. 

There are so many superlatives I could use to describe this experience but I’d probably need to eat a dictionary first but amazing, incredible, mind-blowing, awe-inspiring and extraordinary are just a few that spring to mind. All words that could also be used to describe Dali, his forward thinking approach and his artwork.

So, if you’re considering heading to or are in London then a visit to Dali : Cybernetics Art exhibition to see the metaverse and everything else is highly recommended – don’t take my word for it, I encourage you to go and see for yourself, you won’t be disappointed. 

* The Dali Cybernetics Art Exhibition is proving to be so popular that it’s extended yet again and is now on until the beginning of July 2023.

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