If you ever wanted to experience a truly sensory overload mind trip of an experience, look no further than Wisdome in Los Angeles. Currently hosting the SAMSKARA art exhibit, Wisdome is an art park that boasts full immersion within five domes. In these domes, attendees will experience immersion through the utilization of digital art, surround sound, projections, and more.
Shannon and I went during a more quiet time in the Wisdome’s schedule. On some nights, the Wisdome hosts SAMSKARA After Dark events rooted in music like Pink Floyd, dance and performances reminiscent of moments at Burning Man, and complete and utter transformation. However, despite us coming on a quiet night, this did not prevent us from fully engaging in the immersion that the SAMSKARA art exhibit had to offer.
Now I can’t really discuss this event without attempting to explain what SAMSKARA means. The lovely woman who checked us in explained it as a transference of energy. When we touch someone, we transfer our energy over to them and vice versa. The more detailed explanation for what SAMSKARA represents is provided quite eloquently on Wisdome LA’s site:
“SAMSKARA is a soul’s impression, the hardly felt emotional track in the subconscious. We travel from life to life between strange worlds and spaces but we are not able to remember this, just keeping the Samskaras. We don’t know what we are looking for with just the constant feeling of a lost happiness and the thirst for change driving us forward. The only thing we are sure at – is that what we are looking for does exist.”
At its core, I would argue that SAMSKARA is energy that we take on and I would be remiss if I did not say that both Shannon and I took energy from this exhibit. As you go through the domes, it is as if you are slowly accumulating energy. As you take in more of the sensory and detail around you upon entering the third dome, which is where we were able to see all of Android Jones‘ beautiful artwork, you can’t help but feel a light buzz fill your insides.
Walking throughout the gallery itself, your mind is taking in all of the intricate details Jones has interwoven within his pieces. One could argue that a single piece could entrance you due to the level of detail. If that wasn’t enough, there is a projection featured in the gallery where you can see some of Jones’s pieces come to life. A gentle humming of sorts plays in the background to keep the focus on where it should be – the art.
The fourth dome is where you experience the VR components. Now, I’ll be absolutely honest. I am a wee baby bird when it comes to VR. I never know when I’m doing something right or wrong whenever I try it out and when I tried out the VR, I actually didn’t have that great of a time. I couldn’t figure out how to actually paint within the VR setup and found myself giving up quickly. This says more about myself than the actual VR. However, I observed others grasping the concepts of how to operate the VR in a far more sufficient way than myself and watched as they proceeded to bring art to life within their VR realm.
The fifth dome and the 360 full dome mapping projection is really what I thought immersed me completely into SAMSKARA. When I mentioned earlier that you take on energy as you go throughout the exhibit, this is where the full absorption of energy reaches its peak. Not only do you see Android Jones’s pieces come to life in the projection, but you watch a story unfold about energy, the development of humanity, our future, and bringing the world back into a form of balance. There’s so much to take in that you can’t help clinging onto your seats as you go on this ride. It’s beautiful and, during certain parts, absolutely terrifying as the energies shift within the projection screening.
Overall, SAMSKARA is a beautiful, energy provoking art exhibit that seeks to expand our senses in new and exciting ways. Given how much I’ve now looked into their After Dark series, I would be curious to see how the energy of the exhibit changes depending on which After Dark series one attends. Given the name of the exhibit, I feel that SAMSKARA succeeds in fulfilling the goal of its name meaning. You will not leave the exhibit without taking something with you. That is the meaning of SAMSKARA.