The opening of Amsterdam’s NXT museum last week marked a significant cultural milestone for the city. Capitalising on its vibrant and flourishing art scene, this is the first digital art museum in The Netherlands, and its opening will be warmly welcomed by artists and art enthusiasts alike.
Despite the necessarily reduced footfall due to social distancing measures, the early signs are that the new gallery is proving a real hit among visitors, with its first exhibition providing a treat for the senses. The highly Instagrammable gallery space looks set to join the likes of Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum as one of the must-see cultural destinations in the tourist-friendly city.
Housed in a former television studio, the gallery space aims to use ‘modern tools to embody modern times’, providing 14 rooms and an exciting array of audiovisual displays. With 1,400 metres of space, artists have huge creative freedom here to display ambitious, multi-sensory projects to captivate and inspire their audiences.
It’s first exhibition, Shifting Proximities, focuses on how global events and technological change are creating continuous shifts in the distance between people. The group exhibition showcases large-scale installations by some of new media art’s most prominent new media figures including London-based collectives United Visual Artists (UVA) and Marshmallow Laser Feast; British-Australian sci-fi artist and body architect Lucy McRae and human-computer interaction researcher Niels Wouters in partnership with the Science Gallery Melbourne; ecological artist Thijs Biersteker in collaboration with Italian plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso; Dutch visual artist Heleen Blanken with software developer Naivi and sound artist Stijn van Beek; and audio-visual artist Roelof Knol.
While 2020 has been a difficult year for many public exhibition spaces, the NXT museum appears the perfect venue for posing some interesting cultural questions about our future. With many asking what ‘the new normal’ is going to look like, perhaps that answer - nebulous as it may be - could be found through some of this groundbreaking art.
The museum aims to “facilitate new and next iterations of creative expression,’ with the future providing a ‘thrilling source of inspiration that drives endless questions, [such as] What’s next?’
We’re curious to find out, and really looking forward to visiting this exciting new museum in the near future.
Tickets cost 24 euros and can be purchased through their website: https://tickets.nxtmuseum.com/nl/tickets.
By Richard Oxley