29Rooms in Chicago
When? JULY 26 – 29, 2018
Where? 1522 WEST HUBBARD STREET, CHICAGO, IL 60642
Instagram has forever changed the way we define and consume art. Devotees now wait for hours to see, photograph, and post the latest “it” work of artistic brilliance. Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors certainly has benefited from this phenomenon. Consider also the popularity of Bear Champ by Chicago’s own JC Rivera. Artists are gaining deserved recognition these days thanks in part to the social media savvy crowd. Those IG-ers, in turn, are becoming part of the art. It’s the circle of #life.
In the best possible way, 29Rooms by Refinery29 taps into social media’s connection with artistic creation. The popular immersive event turns spectators into artists with interactive installations. This year’s theme, “Turn It Into Art,” celebrates the transformative power of creativity and explores how art influences emotion, shifts perspectives, and encourages experimentation.
Chicago is the final stop of a tour that has received much acclaim in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. To their credit, Refinery29 isn’t just re-marketing 29Rooms for a local audience. The digital media company has invited local artists to create installations of their own. Shani Crowe (@Crowezilla), Max Sansing (@Maxsansing), and spoken word artist Raych Jackson (@Raychjackson) are a few of the Chicago-based collaborators joining Chloe x Halle, Janelle Monae, Lizzo, Emma Roberts and more!
“Chicago is a diverse, culturally vibrant city, and we’re excited to honor and reflect that great creative spirit at 29Rooms,” said Refinery29’s Co-founder and Executive Creative Director Piera Gelardi. “In collaboration with distinctive local and international artists, we’ll bring 29Rooms to the Midwest for the first time. We hope to see the exhibit spark conversation, unlock visitors’ imaginations, and inspire people to take action.”
A guide to 29Rooms in Chicago
A few things you should know:
Don’t bring a purse. You’ll want to feel “free”.
Wear slide on shoes. A few installations require barefeet.
Bring a friend to photograph you or ask a stranger. It’s cool.
- A timely creation by Demi Lovato may break your heart
- A timely creation by Demi Lovato may break your heart
The following was provided by Refinery29’s PR team:
The Chicago interactive event will center thematically around “Turn It Into Art” and will celebrate the transformative power of creativity in its ability to shift perception and drive change. New collaborations for Chicago include:
BE THE SPARK In Collaboration with Max Sansing: Avalon Park-native Max Sansing has been transforming the streets of Chicago with his larger-than-life portraits and vibrant murals for over a decade. Here on Ashland Ave, Sansing celebrates the creative spark and vision of women; an ode to Refinery29’s mission for all women to feel, see and claim their power and a symbolic portrait of the women collaborators and larger audience that create and celebrate at 29Rooms.
ChicagoScape Powered by Samsung: Chicago holds a particular kind of magic for those who walk its streets, day and night. Looking at it from any angle, and in any light, you’re able to discover the visual melody that embodies this hub of culture and art. Whether you’re watching the sunrise along Lake Michigan or standing amongst the skyscrapers that tower above – there’s something truly magical about Chicago that makes it like no other place. In this poetic ode to the Windy City, we invite you to take a stroll into the soul of Chicago through an immersive experience, and capture your journey #withGalaxy S9+ Dual Aperture Camera.
CLEAN BEAUTY In Partnership with bareMinerals®: What are you FULL OF? What are you FREE OF? In our world of clean, natural beauty, you can release the things that no longer serve you and fearlessly claim the good things that do. Set above the clouds, bareMinerals invites you to channel The Power of Good as you explore endless skies, pristine reflections, purifying minerals and an immersive waterfall.
HAPPY SKIN In Partnership with Clinique: What if a world of clean, hydrated, happy skin was only a bottle of Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly away? Make your way through a tunnel of pollution and enter a space of pure light, bounce and bubbles, where Clinique invites you to channel your happiest, most unburdened self. Get ready for this jelly.
HYPER SOUL In Collaboration with The Era feat. I Am The Queen: Footwork, a pillar of Chicago culture that has spanned decades, is a style of dance and music birthed from the 80s Chicago club scene that combines rapid foot movements over tracks that pull from juke, pop, funk, bass, disco and hip hop for a dizzying, high-energy effect. The Era feat. I Am The Queen, two local crews that embody the legacy and evolutions of this subculture, bring the energy, expression and community of footwork to life at 29Rooms.
REST IN POWER, REST IN PEACE In Collaboration with Shani Crowe: Chicago violence has impacted and shaped the lives of many of the people in this city. These two phrases, of honoring and of healing, are often privileged to the dead but are just as needed by the living. In this space interdisciplinary artist Shani Crowe invites you to channel both; a throne to represent power, a candle-lit shrine to represent peace. Here take a moment to celebrate the lives of those who’ve passed and reclaim a moment of peace and calm for us, the living.
TICKETING EXCLUSIVITY: As the official payment technology partner for all 29Rooms, Mastercard will unlock exclusive access and surprises for cardholders as well as deliver attendees with the opportunity to tap and pay on-site for exclusive 29Rooms merchandise.
Rooms part of the “Turn it Into Art” New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco exhibitions debuting in Chicago include:
ART HEALS In Collaboration with The Art of Elysium: This room will arm each guest with their own paintbrush and palette to add their individual contribution to a living installation that celebrates hope and highlights the healing power of art, created in collaboration with The Art of Elysium, the non-profit artist driven organization dedicated to creativity and inspiration.
BECOME THE MASTERPIECE In Collaboration with Alexa Meade: In this double room featuring two contrasting artistic styles both painted by Alexa Meade, the walls are the canvas and the guests are the masterpiece. Grab a prop and get into character while channeling your inner muse. You’ll become part of the scene as you turn yourself into art.
BRIGHT FUTURE In Collaboration with Planned Parenthood: This large-scale installation shines its bright neon lights on the importance of providing quality healthcare and accurate information to everyone — no matter who they are or where they live. Listen to the stories of those who’ve been touched by Planned Parenthood and pledge your support for the millions of people who the organization could continue to help.
COSMORAMARAMA In Collaboration With Wesley Allsbrook and HANDS: Step into a landscape imagined, drawn and animated in virtual reality in collaboration with San Francisco artist Wesley Allsbrook and HANDS. Press your face against a phantasmagorical picture window looking out on a world that does not exist. Peer into 100 megabytes of perishing paradise. A collection of panoramic perspectives that make up a geographically transcendent environment is known as a cosmorama. This is Cosmoramarama.
DREAMER’S DEN In Collaboration with Juno Calypso and Darby Walker: Enter this surreal speakeasy, grab a seat, and watch as this fiery and ethereal siren Darby Walker turns your thoughts into art. Surrounded by the imagery of British artist Juno Calypso, guests are welcomed into an interactive space featuring live singing from Parker, who will turn the dreams guests share into a song on the spot.
EROTICA IN BLOOM In Collaboration with Maisie Cousins: Inside this multi-sensory experience, artist Maisie Cousins blurs the lines between sex, art, and nature. Inspired by the age old sexual symbolism of flowers, guests will step inside life-sized pods for a provocative and playful thrill ride featuring custom content that engages all the senses.
THE FUTURE IS FEMALE In Collaboration with Madame Gandhi and Jen Mussari: Take out your frustrations on hand painted punching bags by illustrator Jen Mussari. Fit with punching gloves and surrounded by the pumping sounds of the powerful single, “The Future Is Female” by electronic music artist Madame Gandhi, guests will create a beautiful stress-free symphony together.
GENDER NEUTRAL In Collaboration with Jill Soloway’s Topple: Recreating the refuge and familiar sanctity of a high school bathroom, this space invites guests to listen to first-person stories on their own of the first awareness of gender identity from Roberta Colindrez, Rhys Ernst, Alexandra Grey, Amos Mac, Bashir Naim, and Pigeon Pagonis. Created in collaboration with Emmy-winning director and creative force Jill Soloway and artist Xavier Schipani, the intimate space lets attendees share in these highly personal moments of self-discovery.
HARMONY In Collaboration with Chloe x Halle and Benjamin Shine: This sound and visual installation is a collaboration between British artist and designer Benjamin Shine and sisters and recording artists Chloe x Halle. Exploring the many intertwining layers that make up the bond of sisterhood, the space celebrates the duality of the physical and spiritual connection and the beauty of energies uniting.
HEAR OUR VOICE In Collaboration with Women’s March: Capturing the potent spirit of activism from the Women’s March, this space takes you back to that historic moment, asking you to channel your creativity to unite and use the power of our collective voices. Surrounded by the artwork created in collaboration with Refinery29 as well as work by Amplifier, guests can write a message to their national representative and continue to push that revolutionary energy forward.
JUST BE In Collaboration with Ashlee Haze, Jonathan Rosen and Wallplay: In collaboration with spoken word artist Ashlee Haze, artist Jonathan Rosen and Wallplay, this space will surround guests with the words of Haze, while Rosen’s interactive mirror allows them to reflect and celebrate different aspects of their bodies without limit or judgment.
LOVE IS LOVE In Collaboration with Kate Moross: 29Rooms brings back the popular 2016 exhibition which celebrates pride and LGBTQIA+ love. Guests will be encouraged to join under a neon rainbow installation with Love Wins typography by artist Kate Moross. Each stripe of the rainbow flag is powered by a universal message, showing that love is love and you should always love yourself — and whomever else you desire.
MOVE AND BE MOVED In Collaboration with Lizzo: Both an intimate and collective experience all at once, be in your own head while feeding off the energy of attendees’ togetherness. Set to the pumping music of rapper-singer Lizzo, we invite you to escape from it all for a short while, throw on some headphones, hit the dance floor and join us in this silent disco.
OCEAN OF CREATIVITY In Collaboration with Jee Young Lee: Courageous creativity is our biggest ally as we venture out into the world and hit the high seas. With the wind at our backs, we set sail on the open waters of potential, knowing no matter where we anchor ourselves our possibilities are limitless. Reflect on your own journey as you enter this ocean of creativity crafted entirely from salvaged materials, and welcome the unknown.
THE POWER PARLOR In Collaboration with Demi Lovato: We all have our own form of battle scars; a reminder of what we’ve overcome. Inspired by powerhouse Demi Lovato’s own tattoos that celebrate her resilience, step into this temporary tattoo parlor and turn your personal journey into art. Adorn yourself with a message of courage and self-confidence, and let your ink empower you to move forward in the face of any challenge.
SEEN & UNSEEN In Collaboration in JUCO: Though seemingly random, all things, seen and unseen, are connected. We are intrinsically linked to everything in the world around us, though we often can’t visualize the connections. Step into this space in collaboration with artistic duo JUCO, activate your aura and start to see the unseeable.
SHRED IT In Collaboration with Jake Gyllenhaal:Through roadblocks and hurdles, challenges and setbacks, the true strength of the human spirit lies in our ability to persevere and overcome. Inspired by a universal message of resilience and renewal available to anyone, in this space, we invite you to take whatever is weighing you down, and turn it into art. Shred the past. Let it go, and come out stronger.
TALES WE TELL In Collaboration with Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss: A larger than life typewriter will set the scene in this space inspired by Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss’ Belletrist book community. Celebrating female authors and helping to keep the art of storytelling alive, you’ll be greeted by dozens of empty books that you can write in — whether crafting your own story or adding to someone else’s.
WHAT’S YOUR FREQUENCY? In Collaboration with Janelle Monáe: Through the weaponization of technology, mass surveillance, and cultural uniformity, many argue that modern society is waging an invisible war against us all. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we explore our own complex humanity, document injustice and fight for freedom. In this installation, step into the ranks of this surreal army of surveillance as you’re watched, recorded, and transmitted. Take creative control of their gaze, and turn your liberation into art.
THE WOMB In Collaboration with Cleo Wade: A fully immersive experience recreating the sensation of being inside a mother’s womb. Crawl into the giant enclosed bean bag, curl up, and soak in all the love while listening to a meditative poem written and recited by artist Cleo Wade. Replenish your love of self and others in this comfortable space so that you may re-enter the world with more love to give.
*Room descriptions and concepts subject to change
29Rooms features auxiliary activations that will entertain guests as they travel between the rooms. These include:
- Bike Ride In Partnership with LÄRABAR: Need a break from adulting? The simple joy of a summertime bike ride can make you feel like a kid again. Hop on the LÄRABAR Bicycle, grab a complimentary LÄRABAR bar made with just fruits, nuts and spices, and go for a ride!
- The Plan B Hotline In Partnership with Plan B One-Step®: Ring Ring. Calling The Plan B Hotline! Step inside our turned-into-art phone booths where you can flip through our hotline yellow pages, place a call and listen to real stories from real people sharing their own experiences with this critical backup option. For every woman, everywhere, emergency contraception is about you choosing your best options. And Plan B One-Step® has your back. Click.
- The Fab Five Throne In Partnership with Queer Eye: When their superpowers combine, the expertise of The Fab Five come together to transform the hero and give us all the feels. Discover your inner Queen (hey, girl) and take your proper place upon a fantastical throne – show off your best and most fabulous self. You’re worth it! YAAAAS!
- Identity is Power In Partnership with Orange Is the New Black: In the darkest circumstances, the power of your personal journey and the strength of knowing who you are can shine a bright light forward. In Orange Is the New Black the individual path of each character is woven together to form a powerful story of sisterhood, strength, and resilience. We invite you to tell us who you are and become a part of The Story of Orange. Here, individual identity does not confine you, it is celebrated.
- Welcome to the Samsung Dark Room: Your creative journey towards turning your photos into art begins right now. Check in with an attendant to let the magic begin. And always remember: Be The Spark, Live With Heart, Turn It Into Art!
- Windy City Feels Powered by Samsung: Inspired by the Windy City herself, we invite you to strike a pose, work your magic, and channel your inner superstar! Feel the wind beneath your wings and step inside our photo studio, where our photographer will capture your moment in a whole new cinematic way #withGalaxy S9+ Super Slow-mo.
- The 29Rooms Collection: Designed for dreamers, risk-takers, and creative explorers, this collection of merchandise lets you turn everyday into art long after you leave 29Rooms. And with a portion of proceeds going to Step Up (a non-profit empowering young women in under-resourced communities), you can feel good about looking good.