Los Angeles doesn’t have any shortage of museums. From classic ones like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Getty Center to more science-y ones like the California Science Center and The Broad, this city can keep you well occupied if you are a lover of museums. A fairly new kid on the block is the Museum of Dream Space (MODS), located in the Beverly Center on Beverly Boulevard. It calls itself the first digital art museum in the US. So, what is digital art all about?
Wikipedia defines digital art as any form of art which uses digital technology in its making or presentation. In other words, a digital painting will not be drawn using oil or water colors on a canvas, it will be drawn using pixels on a screen and perhaps use digitally-enhanced presentation effects such as 3D projections. While this may violate the sanctity of ‘pure art’, digital art, just like anything on a computer, opens up a world of new and almost limitless possibilities. MODS has 6 such rooms showcasing digital art.
While all the rooms are splendid and will leave you pretty much amazed, it is the first and last rooms which struck me the most. The first room hit me probably because it is the first, so it gives you a taste of what digital art can be. It is a hexagonal honeycomb of sorts decked in yellow with a myriad of reflections.
The next few rooms offer images with different lighting effects, animations (think GIFs on a mega scale) and projections. Each room is worth spending about 10 minutes in, just to look around and soak it all up. One of the rooms has another empty room just beyond it, which is normally camouflaged, but can create an eerie effect if you happen to spot it, almost like a haunted secret room.
The last room in the museum is a collection of lanterns. Correction, digital lanterns. In other words, hard glass cylinders with what appeared to be LEDs inside them. This room, to me, was the best of the lot. They saved the best for the last! The different colors of the lanterns, the shades of light and dark, the overall mosaic effect, it’s hard to leave this room and exit back out.
However, despite the wonders within, I wouldn’t give MODS a glowing review. The reason is simple – it doesn’t offer value for money. The entry price is $32! A lot of museums in LA are free and most others only charge a few bucks for entry. For $32, I might expect to see the best ever museum of digital art, but MODS is clearly lacking in amount of content with just 6 rooms. While the content is good no doubt (as I have already explained), visiting MODS felt like getting expensive seats to a fancy movie and then finding out that it’s only half an hour long. If they could add more rooms – unlikely, given that it’s already inside another building – or reduce the entry price – a much more practical solution – I would definitely recommend this place.