Step Further Inside Van Gogh’s Bedroom with Executive Creative Director Troy Lachance
Bluecadet’s collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago is attracting unprecedented attendance. With tickets selling out during the first week and record breaking crowds, Van Gogh’s Bedrooms is garnering exceptional press attention. The museum’s collaboration with AirBnB has piqued the interest of art historians and techies alike. Our Executive Creative Director, Troy Lachance, provides more insight into how we developed this unprecedented exhibit:
Bluecadet’s involvement with the Van Gogh bedrooms project seems to focus on the element of storytelling. Why did the team decide to use elements like projection mapping to tell Van Gogh’s story?
As with all of the experiences we create, we use technology as a tool and not a solution. While it’s true that we’re using rear-projections and animations, the real essence of the experience is delivering content in a way that best tells the story. In the case of this show, we had very personal quotes from Van Gogh’s letters and information from curators and conservators about why and how the paintings were created. Rather than just having a placard describing this, we opted to use light, sound, and touch to help visitors go beyond just a surface level exploration. While it might be displayed in a different way, the concepts of how we experience and interpret an environment is very much in-line with the concepts Van Gogh was dealing with when he painted the Bedroom series.
It’s interesting to think of the visitors as able to “investigate the Bedrooms like a curator or conservator.” How does this tie into the elements of storytelling in the installation?
We typically argue against adding technology to art spaces when we can. Like most of us, we go to art museums for an experience we can’t get by burying our heads in our phone. With that said, there are stories technology can tell to help visitors appreciate and look more closely at art. In this case, there were a number of hidden stories we could present. With the use of x-ray and raking light imagery conservators uncovered details about Van Gogh’s process and technique. We were able to seamlessly weave that imagery and those stories into a fun pinch, zoom and pan exploration of the three paintings juxtaposed next to each other. In an added layer, this synchronized exploration is projected at large scale, behind the touchscreens, so large groups of visitors can appreciate the fine details that are otherwise hidden to the naked eye.