NEW YORK – On January 14, Onassis USA and the New Museum’s NEW INC announced a major new partnership to create a space for artists, filmmakers, and designers working in mixed reality, the Onassis, NEW INC eXtended Reality Studio, ONX Studio.
ONX Studio is an accelerator, a subsidized workspace and presentation gallery located in the Onassis Gallery of Olympic Tower, the Midtown Manhattan headquarters of Onassis USA. Set to open in late spring 2020, it will house a dozen artists and producers, including NEW INC alumni and others working in mixed reality, for a year-long term to develop significant works for the public realm. The studio space will also transform into a mixed reality gallery every year for a month-long showcase featuring ONX members. The first showcase is planned for winter 2020/2021. The Studio will operate as a two-year pilot program.
ONX’s vision will be steered by NEW INC’s Director Stephanie Pereira, its cofounder Karen Wong, Onassis USA Artistic and Executive Director Vallejo Gantner, and the Onassis Foundation’s Head of Digital and Innovation Prodromos Tsiavos. Over the past six years, NEW INC, the New Museum’s cultural incubator, has attracted top talents who have been exploring storytelling through digital tools including AR, VR, projection mapping, spatial audio, and motion capture. NEW INC alumni and members have been a driving force in defining this emergent culture including award-winning studios Scatter, New Reality Co, Dave&Gabe, Sensorium, Superbright, Hyphen Labs, and artists such as Stephanie Dinkins, Eliza McNitt, Jakob Kudst Steensen, and Rachel Rossin. Awards, major commissions, and recognition in this community include an Emmy Award and numerous laurels from Tribeca, Sundance, SXSW Film, and Cannes. Among the accomplishments from past NEW INC members, Eliza McNitt, along with producer Darren Aronofsky, created Spheres, the first VR experience to be acquired for seven-figures by Sundance, and Scatter is the inventor of the widely used volumetric film-capture hardware product, Depthkit, which they launched during their tenure at NEW INC.
The Onassis Foundation has invested through the years in exploring contemporary art and the dialectical relationship between multimedia, digital, mixed reality and hybrid artistic practices. Its mission is to create the conditions, explore the ideas and trigger bold discussions that shape society, through education and art, helping us “see” the world from a different point of view by connecting the digital archipelago of our times.
Designed by the NYC-based architectural firm Leong Leong, the ONX Studio, a 4,000-square-feet space, will provide an accelerator for this growing community of mixed reality artists where they will be able to develop, beta test, and demo their works in a presentation gallery for curators, producers, collectors, and agencies. Members will host open houses and salons where the community can share best practices and foster a network and support system.
The ONX Studio will also be in close dialogue with Onassis Lab, the Onassis Foundation cross-disciplinary incubator in Athens that seeks to support innovation and disruption across disciplines. The Onassis Lab will provide a comprehensive set of professional development programs aiming at supporting creators from different sectors and encouraging unexpected encounters of scientists, artists, and theorists. The interactions between the two initiatives are expected to lead to the formalization of an exchange program in the near future.
The Onassis Foundation has a storied history of commissioning and supporting multimedia and theatrical presentations. Karen Brooks Hopkins, Senior Advisor, elaborates, “Onassis USA is thrilled to continue elevating artists and filmmakers who are fostering new ways to tell important stories. New Museum has been a pioneer in developing platforms for new art and new ideas, and we have found a kindred spirit in NEW INC.”
Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum commented, “ONX Studio is an evolution of what we have learned and experienced at NEW INC. In New York City, bespoke space for artists who are working in mixed reality is scarce. The Onassis Foundation had the vision to bridge this gap, and their commissioning expertise will be invaluable as we explore new avenues for these hybrid digital and physical experiences.”
More information is available online: www.newmuseum.org.