New York: Last Monday, 13 June, Art at Viacom presented their latest installment New Cosmic, a collaboration between Australian artist duo DABS MYLA and LA based furniture manufacturer Modernica. Decorating the Times Square lobby, DABS MYLA has created their own spiritual realm- a mix of Eastern philosophy, hippy counterculture, and pop art. The installation incorporates work from across the mediums, including painting, sculpture, custom made furniture, interactive gadgets, and murals.
Upon entering the space, onlookers are immediately drawn in by the first section of the installment, composed of two interactive astrology spinning wheels, a meditation tent with records, and custom made chairs adorned with books. The astrological spinning wheels were influenced by DABS MYLA’s recent exposition to India, where they visited an ancient zodiac temple called Jantar Mantar. Having left a deep impression on the artist duo, they attempted to recall aspects of Jantar Mantar in this installation. The serenity of the temple is additionally mirrored in the meditation tent, situated right in front of the wheels. Both pieces are meant to be utilized by the public. We are meant to spin the wheels and receive our fortune and then to relax afterwards in the meditation tent and put on a Velvet Underground record. This interactive nature significantly adds to the installation’s charm.
Around the corner, DABS MYLA continues to craft a world of spiritual optimism and serenity. Here we find a colorfully painted staircase and mural, painted in DABS MYLA’s typical playful style. The staircases are adorned with objects- hand painted books and albums that viewers are meant to pick up and use. These objects remind us of not only of the importance of the 1960s (as they are staples of the decade) but allow us to visualize the connection between the counterculture ideals and ancient spiritualism.
The installation can also be viewed from the busy streets of Times Square. Viacom’s lobby windows display a number of large hand sewn works. The façade of the building also loops a short video clip, in which DABS MYLA explains the inspiration behind the work. The installation’s interactive elements, as well as colorful and intricate design make New Cosmic is a summer must see.
Words: Gracie Brahimy / Image: DABS MYLA, New Cosmic, 2016. Photography by Charlie Rubin.