Projection-Mapped Illuminarium In Atlanta Sweats Asset By Adding Immersive Bar To Experiences

February 15, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Temporary and permanent indoor projection-mapping experiences are starting to grown common in big cities – large, open spaces like old loading docks and storage rooms in which the walls and floors are painted in edge-blended motion and still graphics.

The main business model for these spaces is as large-scale art spaces that people can walk through, or in some cases drive through (when pandemic restrictions were tight and the building set-up allowed). But some of these facilities that are popping up are now going beyond art.

I know the Oasis Immersion venue established by Denys Lavigne and business partners in Montreal (many digital signage and AV people will know Lavigne from his days running the content shop Arsenal Media) is a rotating visual arts exhibition first, but also does special private and corporate events. Oasis has the benefit of being located in Montreal’s primary convention center, so trade shows and conferences can arrange amazing visual functions in the same building as the other events.

Now there’s word that a similar facility in Atlanta – called Illuminarium – has designated time windows when its space shifts from something people just walk through and take in, to a bar bathed in monumental visuals and/or live TV.

The Illuminarium, says the company, is brought to life through an unprecedented blend of 4K laser projection providing guests a connected and shared entertainment journey, audio beams creating a unique and precise sound experience for each individual, in-floor haptics producing realistic sensations for visitors, and even scent, adding authentic enhancement to the immersive experience. Our cinematic immersion will place you into the middle of the narrative unfolding around you. This is achieved with no wearable hardware of any kind – this is not a 3D or 4D experience.

I have mixed feelings about some of the projection-mapping venues that are popping up, notably the ones that show old masters like Van Gogh at big scale. I guess it is kinda sorta interesting to see a 30 foot tall Starry Night on a wall in a darkened room, but custom motion graphics work created for the space and visuals constantly changed by AI are considerably more inventive. Lavigne’s Oasis opened with an exhibit about space and is now running an “immersive contemplative experience showcasing 10 generative artworks by prominent local and international digital artists.

What the Atlanta space is doing is interesting because it is sweating the asset in much the same way that cinemas in urban settings try to rent their viewing rooms to businesses and private events during off-hours. Having a regular bar is interesting, and doing special events like college bowl game viewing parties likely pulls in a lot of money when you can offer the biggest screens in the city and immersive surroundings.

Here’s a local news outlet’s report on Illuminarium …



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