Loading Urban Art

“Loading, L’art urbain à l’ère numérique” revisits the recent history of street art and the impact of new technologies on its creation and dissemination (until July 21, 2024). The  exhibition at Paris’ Grand Palais Immersif greets visitors with a spectacular 360 degree immersive screen experience followed by several interactive installations including: “World Wide Walls” (a joystick ride of global graffiti partnered by Google Art  & Culture), “Hello, my name is…” (a DIY digital graffiti experience) and Seb Toussaint’s “Magnet Mural” inviting visitors to create a collective artwork with coloured magnetic shapes.

The Grand Palais Immersif (located near the Bastille) is a new art space entirely devoted to digital arts technology. It hosts two exhibitions a year. “Venise Révélée,” its first exhibition in 2022, wowed visitors with a 3D immersive video experience of Venice. And a recent exhibition revisited a key figure of Art Nouveau with the exhibition “Eternel Mucha.”

Traditionally graffiti artists mostly used spray paint, eventually adding other media such as mosaic tiling, stickers and stencil art. What we think of as street art dates from NYC’s graffiti boom with its infancy in the 1960s peaking with the spray-painted full-car subway train murals of the 80s. As the 80s progressed, a shift occurred from text-based works of early in the decade to visually conceptual street art coinciding with Keith Haring’s subway advertisement subversions and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s SAMO tags.

Urban art —as with most things analogue—is going through some changes. Some artists are now creating a 21st century digital graffiti using 3D video projection mapping and other digital technologies transforming cityscapes on a monumental scale. The exhibition “Loading, L’art urbain à l’ère numérique” is an opportunity to discover —all  in one place—an ephemeral art usually only experienced “in situ.”

“Loading. Urban art in the digital era” Grand Palais Immersif, 110. rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris, until July 21, 2024.