An arts-focused Chicago events producer is virtually changing the game of blending tech with art.
Sub Chroma Chicago — an annual event from the Canvas art collective featuring collaborations between visual artists, musicians and technicians — is launching a new "live painting" project this week using augmented reality.
The team developed a process that allows an artist using a virtual reality headset to digitally paint real objects and spaces, said Canvas co-founder and director of operations Preston Jones.
"It's meant to challenge what a gallery experience is and push the envelope of what a gallery experience is, and to challenge what live performance is. You can go see a visual artist, a painter, a musician all happening on the same bill, and challenge what is progressive art," Jones said. "We wanted to play with the line of where art and technology meet."
The event Saturday at Moonlight Studios, 1446 W. Kinzie, uses an HTC Vive virtual reality headset, Google's Tilt Brush digital painting app, and projection mapping software. Tickets are $50.
Visitors will see three rooms — a conventional gallery, with art hanging on the walls and physical sculptures; a main room, where guests will see the professional artist paint digitally all around them; and a third in which they can use virtual reality headsets to view digital art curated by new media artist DRMBT.
The main space, with its 30-feet-high ceiling, will have a stage with musicians performing, while street artist Lefty Out There digitally paints the space. His art will be projected on the surrounding room by DRMBT for everyone to see as it's happening. Visitors can also use headsets to digitally paint the room themselves.
"Virtual reality, for a long time, has been in a gaming and tech kind of world, in a niche," Jones said. "This is a new application that aligns with a whole new world of young creative people."