The Influencers: Van Gogh Immersive Experiences and the Attention-Experience Economy

Kate Mondloch
2022 Arts  
Van Gogh immersive exhibitions—multi-sited, branded multimedia environments inspired by the artist's life and paintings—are seemingly ubiquitous in 2022. These itinerant digital spectacles bundle reproductions of Vincent Van Gogh's most recognizable artistic motifs with tropes of fin-de-siècle madness, bathing their visitors in an artistic wonderland of projected images and soundscapes spread throughout cavernous exhibition venues. The popularity of these commercial juggernauts is unmatched. At
more » ... present, at least five different companies are staging competing versions of digital Van Gogh art exhibitions in dozens of cities worldwide, with a particular emphasis at present on sites throughout North America. How are we as art critics to make sense of these exhibitions as well as their influence within the institutional context of the visual arts? Taking the digital Van Gogh phenomenon as its central case study, this article investigates the emerging art-themed immersive exhibition model and explores the specific mode of spectatorship it promotes. Situating these projects within the broader framework of the contemporaneous attention and experience economies, and with an eye toward the crucial role of social media, I propose that art-themed immersive exhibitions such as the Van Gogh immersive experiences exemplify habits of digitally-mediated, 24/7 immersive attention and consumption in art and in everyday life.
doi:10.3390/arts11050090 fatcat:5fdrjdbh7fhh3nrh6yxn5dd4qa