The Interactive Wonderspaces Museum

By Lauren Wong
This story was original posted on Escape With Vagary.

I’ve never been a huge fan of museums, the idea of them always fascinates me, how it’s basically a time capsule with history locked in place. However, I’ve always preferred going to places where I can be hands-on with what I’m seeing. That’s why almost two hours went by in a flash while I was making my way throughout Wonderspaces, located in Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Open year round, this is a place you can consistently go back to and always find something new. There are 13 art installations displayed at a time that are always changing.

Right now, on display, they have Rainbow Rooms by Pierre le Riche, Volumen by Filip Roca, Plume by Ian Brill, Human Study #1, 3RNP by Patrick Tresset, Thank You Bags by Reed Van Brunschot, Glitche by MASARY Studios, Killing Time by Mesplé, Before I Die by Candy Chang, Spheres by CityLights, Micromonumental Mapping, The Essence of Creation by Limelight, Light Leaks by Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan, A Mind Sang by Vier Nev, and Shadowplay by John Edmark.

I had the most fun at the Shadowplay exhibit. I spent 30 minutes dancing around the room watching as the colors changed and duplicated my shadows. I also loved Light Leaks, the way the lights radiated off of the disco balls onto the walls in various patterns and shapes was absolutely stunning. You just stand, immersed in this space as the lights bounce off the fifty mirror balls and glittery lights fill the room. It also makes for a great photo op!

Spheres was definitely an experience like no other. You’re completely thrown into this virtual reality world where you’re transported into space. Wherever you look there are stars floating around you as you become one with the universe. You get to “dive into the heart of a black hole to uncover the breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves.” And, while doing that you’ll “fall into the darkness, and you will find light.” It’s definitely not for everyone, I got a bit dizzy and couldn’t make it through the whole show but, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

You can spend an hour alone in the Before I Die exhibit reading everyone’s life long goals before you grab your color of choice to add your own. The theme I found to be throughout the whole chalk wall was the desire to travel and see the world.

Another exhibit that stuck out to me was Glitche. There were long, silk-like, sheer sheets hanging from the ceiling that filled the whole room. There’s a 14-minute show of animation, sound, light, and sculpture where you can sit back and watch as the vibrant colors shine through the sheets casting beautiful shadows on the floor and the lights dance with every color of the rainbow. You can also walk through the sheets for a different perspective on the show.

Knowing the backstory on Glitche before you see it adds a whole new layer to it. The artist created this from the idea of a glitch, error, or unexpected malfunction in a system. It’s a refraction of the common human experience.

Something interesting I learned while at the museum about Plume, an interactive dome with synchronized light and sound, is that if you have one person stand on the complete opposite side of the dome and whisper directly into the wall, it sounds like that person is right next to you. This piece is meant to represent an ephemeral and ethereal ecosystem.

The last exhibit I want to talk about is the Human Study #1, 3RNP. This artist’s work just blew my mind. There is a chair that sits in front of three robots. If you sit there, all three will draw you at different angles at the same time. You can see next to the robots on the wall, dozens of drawings are displayed of different people that have interacted with Patrick Tresset’s art installation. His collection already has over 36,000 drawings and if you decide to get your portrait drawn, you’ll be added to his massive collection! (You also have the opportunity to purchase one of the pictures).

Located in Scottsdale Fashion Square, it’s a perfect way to end your shopping spree. Every art display is unique in its own way so stop by and see which one is your favorite.

Visit Wonderspaces Arizona’s website to purchase tickets and select your time slot.