Wonderspaces: A Pop-Up Arts Celebration

Moored in San Diego through August 27, Wonderspaces offers visitors emotional experiences created through the repetition of objects, space, light, darkness and sound. The virtual reality experiences might be the biggest draw and in the case of “Show It 2 Me,” the most fun you’ll ever have tagging.

As part of AIGA San Diego’s #AIGASDFieldTrip initiative to get to know our members better and create connections, we gathered in front of this pop-up exhibition where we all ended up experiencing a feeling of appreciation (and maybe a little bit of envy) as we walked through the installations and virtual reality films.

The Wonderspaces team dressed in pink t-shirts pop up too, offering enthusiastic and intelligent commentary about all of the exhibits and their designers. They are on hand to help you don your goggles before taking an eerie boat ride into the next world in “Transitions.” In this VR experience, our companion, a black dog, steps quietly on board and sits in the prow until the end, where he just as quietly steps off.

“A Religious Experience” designed by Adam Belt, a local artist from Carlsbad, felt “all-encompassing and overwhelming in the most uplifting way,” said Alana Hawkins, AIGA board member. “Entering a room that first appears completely black and allowing your body to relax and your eyes to adjust, you begin noticing with each passing second more and more pinpricks of stars and beams of light. It was completely consuming and I could have stayed in there for hours.”

Speaking of time, the video “Sweepers Clock” depicts piles of debris (forming the hands of the clock) being swept up as two blue-clad custodians brandish brooms and push the minutes forward. Created by the talented designer Maarten Baas, it could almost be a clip from the 1982 film “Koyaanisqatsi,” another example of artfully using slow motion and time lapse footage.

The members of AIGA San Diego “wondered” through the sixteen experiences, occasionally meeting up with each other to trade comments and smiles. Events like this one help to solidify that San Diego has a thriving arts scene. Some of the work on display had been previously showcased at festivals and fairs including Burning Man and the Sundance Film Festival.

Like a kid, you’ll want to reach out and touch “Blooms,” created by John Edmarks. Whirling, dipping, swelling and diving, these displays were reminiscent of the moon jellies at Scripps Birch Aquarium, yet they’re simply strobes projected onto a spinning form producing three-dimensional light sculptures.

Whether you’re a creative type and want to experience the events that are promoted through AIGA San Diego, or are simply looking for some local color, don’t miss Wonderspaces while it’s here in town. Get tickets online at wonderspaces.com

Make it a part of your “staycation.” Go with your family, take a date or go on your own – just go. You’ll leave feeling inspired… hopeful… maybe even zen. But definitely not “meh.”

By Joelyn Brickner, Copywriting Director
Published July 21, 2017