Tech & Art Had a Baby, it’s called the Unreal Garden

Updated: Dec 14, 2018 09:20
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between 4th and 5th on Market st

What you’ve heard is true.  Burners have taken over a section of Mid Market.  What was once a very strange and quiet museum curated by Buddhists (whose lobby resembled the Ewok village on Endor) now resembles an indoor, hi-tech Burning Man camp complete with augmented reality and a kombucha bar.

This what the space looked like when the  Int. Art Museum of America once occupied it.

‘Interactive arts & entertainment’ company OneDome, moved in this fall and completely transformed the space into an Augmented Reality playground. They’re using cutting-edge tech and artists from all over the world to create a completely different type of experience.

This is what the Ewok house looks like now after the artists and techies had their way with it.  Image via

If you’re looking for a night out that’s different from the normal bar/restaurant/concert/movie night, then you’re in luck.  Because the Unreal Garden is nothing like those things, in fact, it’s a bit like doing psychedelics at a theme park, only you’re dead sober and wearing a helmet from the movie Tron.

Are you confused yet?  Good, you’re not alone.  Augmented Reality is hard to explain, its’ a bit like virtual reality, except the imagery is overlaid into the environment around you.  If you’ve ever tried a virtual reality (VR) headset you know that the headset seals the viewer off from the outside world, so that everything you see is fabricated or ‘virtual’ and inside the headset.  With Augmented Reality (AR) the headset allows you to see the physical environment around you, while also seeing the virtual artwork being overlaid into your physical environment.

Yeah, it’s a bit like this

using these

Once you’ve had some tea at the Kava bar and argued about whether breakbeat is making a comeback in SF or not, it’s time to experience the ‘Unreal Garden’.  You strap on a headset, take a brief tutorial on how not to walk into walls, and poof!  You find yourself in a very augmented, light-filled world, full of 3-dimensional art and a healthy helping of ‘whoooahs’ and, ‘whaaaaats’.

See Jasmine Pradissitto's Art Through the HoloLens

When you put on the HoloLens in The Unreal Garden, wonders unseen come to life in completely magical ways, like this artwork from Jasmine Pradissitto Visit a new dimension, only at Onedome in San Francisco.

Posted by Onedome on Thursday, December 13, 2018

The work of several artists are on display and each segment of the tour has it’s own flavor and experience.  Jasmine Pradissitto‘s butterflies come to life in front of you and Scott Musgrove’s jellyfish dazzle you, the augmented world OneDome has created gives the viewer a feeling that resembles being a child at an aquarium for the first time.  I want to say the tour lasts between 20-30 minutes, but chances are you’ll lose track of time.

OneDome is also opening a new, headset-free, exhibit described as a ‘labyrinth of 14 immersive rooms & installations’ starting December 21st.  The new experience is titled LMNL, and billed as ‘interactive exhibits where the art magically responds to and is created by you’.  It looks beautiful, and if you’re headset adverse, it may be a virtual dream come true.

artist @HYBYCOZO, masters of geometry and part of the Labyrinth of LMNL this winter

LMNL Launch Party
Friday, December 21
1025 Market St, San Francisco

LMNL features work by B-REEL and many others

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor and co-owner of this little expiriment. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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