The last decade has seen museums and galleries embracing more experiential art, giving viewers the chance to touch, taste, hear, and smell art works, not just see them. Experiential art offers so much more than traditional art works, connecting with all your senses, increasing the impact of the message.
Either temporary or permanent, experiential art installations include a broader use of materials, sometimes even encompassing the environment they are displayed it. Video, sound, light, virtual reality, and other technological mediums can combine with traditional art forms, creating thought evoking pieces that often deal with nature and the human experience. Spectators are enveloped in their surroundings, making everyone a subject of the art piece. Dialogues are started, and experiences are shared., creating a conversation between the art and the audience. The whole concept makes art less isolated and has broadened the definition of what qualifies as artwork.
Installations differ from the traditional art form in one very significant way. It is incredibly difficult to sell. In fact, more often than not, these installations are broken down and either returned to the artist or disposed of. While some pieces can be broken up and sold individually, it is more common that the pieces all function together and breaking it apart would mar the message and value. In pushing against the commodification of art, experiential art has met some criticism from the more traditional art world.
But the growth in experiential installations has proved that audiences show a deep appreciation for the art form and find meaning in the connectivity it provides. It has shown that museums and galleries need to continue pushing the boundaries and modernising art forms in order to keep and grow its audiences.