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Private view: Where art goes digital

We go behind the scenes at Dubai's newest art hubs - the Theatre of Digital Art and the region's biggest immersive digital art gallery, Infinity des Lumières

Technology and art are more inextricably linked than one can imagine. From its early days as simply playing muse to artists who depicted technical advancements in a rapidly changing world in their creations to its role now as a medium helping new art forms evolve, the relationship between technology and art has come a long way. Digital visualisation, in particular, has become an emerging trend that has transformed the sector considerably.

In 2018, Tokyo became a forerunner of digital art with the opening of the Mori Building Digital Art Museum – the first of its kind in the world. France then followed suit with the opening of Atelier des Lumières. Thanks to its popularity, digital art hubs began to expand around the world. Dubai, of course, became one of the trend's very first stations, with the opening of the Theatre of Digital Art in Souk Madinat Jumeirah in 2020 and the region’s biggest digital art centre – Infinity des Lumières – launching a year later at The Dubai Mall.

Infinity des Lumières

Spread over an impressive 2,700 square metres within The Dubai Mall, Infinity des Lumières brings classic and contemporary art to life through 130 projectors, 58 speakers and 3,000 digital moving images in high definition. Here, visitors can experience an exciting fusion of art, music, architecture, science, state-of-the-art technology and high-tech engineering.

Two unique digital exhibitions are currently on display at Infinity des Lumières. Each gives gallery visitors the chance to view and immerse themselves in vibrant images that are embodied through animation, movement, sound and rhythm.

The first, Destination Cosmos, pays homage to the UAE’s considerable space achievements with an incredible showcase that allows visitors to lose themselves in the vastness of the universe. An original digital creation by Culturespaces and the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), this digital exhibition traces humanity’s desire to understand and explore the universe, from the first observations of stars many centuries ago to the Apollo moon landings. Striking images of stars, planets, nebulae and supernovae from CNES and NASA are brought to life with an eclectic soundtrack playing in the background.

The second exhibition, Dubai Data, is based on a huge data corpus translating Dubai’s nature and landscape into paint. It is combined with AI algorithms to create a fusion of art, science and technology. The experience encompasses Dubai’s natural elements, such as its temperature, the sounds of the city, the winds, sand and ocean, as well as a fascinating water and desert animation.

Theatre of Digital Art

Nestled along the waterways of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai’s Theatre of Digital Art (ToDA) spans over 1,000 square metres with large high-definition screens covering the walls and ceiling. This enables 360-degree image projection on all surfaces, creating a unique exhibition space that makes visitors feel like they are part of the art.

The gallery’s digital shows combine stunning music, visual effects and surround sound with classical art, making it one of the most unique ways to experience masterpieces from some of the world’s most notable artists.

Currently taking place at the digital art gallery is the Digital Extravaganza exhibition. Running during the summer, visitors are invited to imagine themselves as travellers on a multisensory journey, which will take them to unknown lands on planet Earth and other galaxies to be finally immersed in the metaverse gallery, created especially for the exhibition. By switching between virtual reality, augmented reality, meta reality, artificial intelligence and traditional video, participants will be able to witness different perspectives of visual art, making for a truly immersive experience.

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