The latest in mind trip entertainment, a new 35,000-square-foot art park called Wisdome, emerged in the downtown Arts District last week, featuring five fully immersive, 360-degree domes, each touting multidimensional, multisensory experiences meshing digital art, surround sound and virtual reality.
You don’t need to be high to appreciate the vibrant colors, textures and dimensions displayed within this high-tech wonderland, but it surely helps. Kinda like Lasarium in the ’70s and ’80s, the eye-popping presentation provides a place to relax, zone out and let your mind journey to other realms. Here, you also have to be cool with lying on the ground, and getting up close and personal with strangers trying to do the same. The largest domes at Wisdome include 360-degree projection mapping technology and have a diameter of 90 feet; they can contain up to 500 people.
After checking out a 3-D art show from dreamscape-y digital artist Android Jones, it was time to head into the large dome, where Saturday night’s stirring presentation of Beyond the Wall took place, featuring Pink Floyd’s sax player Scott Page and an all-star lineup that included Fishbone bassist Norwood Fisher and Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins.
Before the show began, representatives from Wisdome talked about their vision for the locale: bringing people together for a transformational journey. They also made reference to a less than positive recent L.A. Times review of the venue, saying that the publication “didn’t get it.”
There’s not a lot to get, really. The venue fits right in with newer forms of entertainment utilizing VR and other forms of technology. Domes like these have been showcased at Burning Man, Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle in the past couple years, though not as a main event like they are at Wisdome. These mesmerizing cosmic bubbles are best utilized as complements to something.
As Beyond the Wall proves, the sounds are as important as the sights. Android Jones’ film Samkara was an awesome visual feast filled with fractals, mystical creatures and lush fantasy environments, but the new age–y EDM soundtrack was less than exciting.
The Pink Floyd band and presentation by Think: EXP, however, was a rockin’ revelation as the band were all top-notch musicians who re-created Floyd’s best-known hits with ardor and precision. The key to keeping Wisdome fresh will be the creators’ ability to present more shows with similarly stellar sonic elements.
Indeed, Wisdome’s incorporation of quality live music as presented this past weekend took the immersive entertainment concept beyond neo-psychedelic novelty and into truly transcendent territory. We look forward to seeing what they can do next.