menu

Carsten Höller’s Whimsical Experiences at The New Museum

Carsten Höller’s Whimsical Experiences at The New Museum
culture

PSFK takes a tour of the latest installation of the German artist's work, and takes a ride down a giant slide.

Janice Chow
  • 1 november 2011

Last week the New Museum opened the first New York survey of works by German artist, Carsten Höller. Ongoing until early next year, the entire exhibition is an immersive, interactive installation. Twenty years in the making, Höller has created an artistic vision that is equal parts a scientific exploration of architecture and structural engineering and a real-life lab. Höller’s pieces are designed to push the limits of human sensorial perception and logic through carefully executed participatory experiences. Prior to entering the show we were asked to read and sign a waiver of liability, which is very unusual for any kind of exhibition at a museum, but definitely a good sign.

Höller actively engages the museum’s architecture, with each of the three main gallery floors and lobby representing different levels of interaction. The lobby featured a collection of giant mushroom sculptures presented at a human-sized scale.

 

But the highlight of the show is Höller’s signature 102-foot slide installation that was adapted to function as an alternative transportation system within the museum. It starts at the fourth floor and runs through to the second, perforating through the ceilings of each floor, and shuttles viewers through the entire exhibition.

 

The experience is greatly enhanced with an unexpected new light installation that extremely disorients the architectural environment. Also on display is a grand Mirror Carousel next to the entrance of the slide, and dozens of finches in birdcages makes the fifth floor the most whimsical in scale.

The third floor hosts the Psycho Tank where viewers float weightlessly in a sensory deprivation pool, providing a strange out-of-body experience. The Experience Corridor bends the mind with a series of self-experiments for viewers to undertake and interact. In these scenarios, as in his other work, Höller treats the viewer as the subject and audience for his radical and disorienting installations.

Höller’s brand of participatory experiences are not only unorthodox for a museum setting, but encourage viewers to touch and test the gadgets, smell the potions, ride the carousel, float in the deprivation pool, a level of interaction that is rare in established instiutions. As a result of this, the show proved to be an entirely sensory driven experience, one that is both surprisingly engaging, and daringly delightful.

The survey exhibition will be showing from October 26, 2011 through January 15, 2011 at The New Museum.

Check out our Facebook page to see one of our writers take a trip down the slide.

Carsten Höller: Experience

culture
Trending

How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Retail
Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Steve Katsaros

Solar Power, Social Good, Development

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Creative Agency Founder: Using VR As A Race Relationship Tool

Maurice Bernstein, CEO and Founder of Giant Step, explores the value in transforming headsets from high-tech entertainment tools into empathy machines

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Advertising september 23, 2016

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.