Everything in Existence at Artechouse
Artechouse has become knows for its unique exhibits exploring the intersection between art and technology.
Everything in Existence has four distinct installations.
The first room is the largest one. It consists of black-and-white patterns projected on three walls. The patters change from lines to swirls and visitors can watch however they feel most comfortable – on giant bean bags, benches, standing, or sitting or sprawling on the floor. What really makes this room stand-out is the reflective floor that makes you feel as though you are totally immersed and part of the exhibit.
The next exhibit is immersive. Visitors stand in front of one of a number of screens and watch as dots form to take on the person’s shape before they fall away and dissipate. My kids loved doing this over and over in different poses.
Next, another installation takes random tweets and categorizes them according to feeling, then assigns a color to each feeling. Happy tweets are represented by yellow, angry ones by red, and so on. Visitors watch as tweets come in and are colored in real time. Note that the tweets are not screened, so it’s possible children could see something inappropriate, although that did not happen during our visit. Once a cycle of sorting tweets is complete, the colored dots (one for each tweet) are then visible on several lightboards. During our visit most of the tweets were categorized as “happy” but there was a definite rainbow of dots showing the range of emotions that had been posted on Twitter in the preceding minutes.
Finally, there is a smaller exhibit with light boards on the ceiling.
While some of Artechouse’s past exhibits have been firmly appropriate for all ages, Everything in Existence could be a great experience for some kids, but may be overwhelming for others. Most of the artwork takes place in dark rooms and contains some flashing lights, meaning kids who have sensory issues or who scare easily may not enjoy themselves. That said, on our visit children as young as two were in attendance and clearly having a blast. My children (4, 8, and 11) also really liked the exhibit.
Artechouse also makes a great date night or Moms Night Out destination. From 5:30 to 11 pm each night Artechouse turns into a 21+ venue. And, yes, there is a bar!
- If you go, tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Tickets are sold for timed admissions to keep the number of visitors at any given time limited. If you are late, you will still be allowed in. You can stay as long as you like and the average visit is about an hour. There is metered parking near Artechouse as well as several garages.
- The exhibit runs through March 10th.
- The Wharf DC is a short drive, or about a five minute walk, from Artechouse. Make a day of it by grabbing lunch or dinner at one of the Wharf’s many restaurants after your visit to Artechouse.
- There is plentiful on street metered parking nearby as well as parking garages. It is also close to the Smithsonian metro stop.
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