Download the App

Be sure to download the app before your visit. Apple products be an iPhone X or above with an iOS 11 and above. Androids must be an equivalent of Galaxy S9 above with Android 9.0 or above. It is recommended that devices have a minimum of 4GB free memory.

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MHS-Weiwei (2)
The most ambitious and expansive exhibition to date of contemporary artworks created with augmented reality (AR) technology will premiere at Massachusetts Horticultural Society on April 1, 2022 as one of 12 participating botanical gardens across seven countries.

Seeing the Invisible features AR works by a dozen international artists including Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Mohammed Kazem,  Sigalit Landau, Sarah Meyohas, Pamela Rosenkranz, and Timur Si-Qin. The first exhibition of its kind to be developed in collaboration between botanical gardens and arts institutions from around the world. Seeing the Invisible is initiated by the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and Outset Contemporary Art Fund and will open simultaneously in Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The exhibit runs until August 2022.

Thank you to our 2022 Seeing the Invisible Sponsors

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Seeing the Invisible featured on Chronicle 5 WCVB

Watch as Chronicle's Ted Reinstein discovers the joy and fascination of Seeing the Invisible at The Gardens at Elm Bank.

This exhibit premiers simultaneously at:

Denver Botanic Gardens

 

Eden Project (Cornwall, UK)

 

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

 

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (Cape Town, South Africa)

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota, Florida)

 

Massachusetts Horticultural Society

 

Royal Botanical Gardens (Ontario)

 

Royal Botanic Garden Eadinburg

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Cranbourne, Australia)

 

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne, Australia)

 

San Diego Botanic Garden

 

Tucson Botanical Gardens

Featured Artists

Ai Weiwei (b. 1957, Beijing, China; lives and works in Berlin Tempelhof Airport, Germany)
Refik Anadol (b. 1985, Istanbul, Turkey; lives and works in Los Angeles, USA)
El Anatsui (b. 1944, Anyako, Ghana; lives and works in Nigeria)
Ori Gersht (b. 1967, Tel Aviv, Israel; lives and works in London, UK)
Isaac Julien CBE (b.1960, London, UK; lives and works in London, UK)
Mohammed Kazem (b. 1969, Dubai, UAE; lives and works in Dubai, UAE)
Sigalit Landau (b. 1969, Jerusalem, Israel; lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel) 
Daito Manabe (b. 1976, Tokyo, Japan; lives and works in Tokyo, Japan)
Sarah Meyohas (b. 1991, New York City, USA; lives and works in New York City, USA)
Mel O’Callaghan (b. 1975, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Paris, France)
Pamela Rosenkranz (b. 1979, Switzerland; lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland)
Timur Si-Qin (b. 1984; lives and works in New York City, USA)
Jakob Kudsk Steensen (b. 1987, Denmark; lives and works in Berlin, Germany)

What You Need to Know

The exhibition can be viewed only upon visiting the participating botanical gardens and is experienced through the Seeing the Invisible mobile app developed for this project.

It it HIGHLY recommended that you download the mobile app ahead of time. It can be downloaded at the entrance to each of the participating botanical gardens but will take significant time. It is a GPS-based app which will identify the visitor’s location around the world in real time upon entering the gardens. The app will present the respective garden map with the exhibition route and locations of the AR artworks around it.

Walking along the designated route, once a visitor physically reaches the vicinity of an artwork, the app will automatically notify the visitor and will present simple instructions for pointing the device’s camera towards the ground to initiate the AR experience. Many pieces have sound, we encourage you to bring earbuds or headphones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read some of the most common questions about the Seeing the Invisible. 

How do I experience the artworks?

Seeing the Invisible will be accessible via smartphone and tablet through the unique Seeing the Invisible app, which will be available for iPhone and Android in the App Store and Google Play.

Using the app interface, visitors will encounter 13 unique and interactive artworks dotting the garden landscape. Visitors can snap photos engaging with larger than life, moving and interactive artwork that they can virtually walk through, while plugging into an audio component that amplifies the artistic experience.

A number of the art installations include a soundscape. We recommend you bring your own headphones.

The augmented reality (AR) nature of the exhibition allows for the creation of expansive, immersive works that engage with existing features of the natural landscape beyond the boundaries of what is possible with physical artworks, and many of the works created for the exhibition will address related themes around nature, environment, sustainability, and the intersection of the physical world with the digital one.

How do I prepare for the exhibit?

Prior to your visit we ask that you download the app in advance. The app is available from the App Store if using an iPhone or Google Play if using an Android. Please ensure you arrive with a fully charged device.

What is AR?

Augmented reality, or AR, refers to any technology that ‘augments’ or adds to the user’s view (and in some cases auditory perception) of their environment. Usually, digital information is super imposed over an existing real-world environment and is fixed in one place as the user moves around it or moves their device around it. AR is not a simulation of reality – instead, it integrates and introduces something unreal into the real world, adding to the user’s perception.

How does it work?

Visitors connect with Seeing the Invisible through their smartphone or tablet by downloading an app designed for an engaging exhibition experience. Using the app interface, visitors encounter 13 unique and interactive artworks dotting the garden landscape.

Visitors can snap photos engaging with larger-than-life, moving and interactive artwork that they can virtually walk through, while plugging into an audio component that amplifies the artistic experience.

How do I use the app?

Discover artworks via an in-app map and notifications as you near an artwork site. Additional instructions are provided when the app is opened. AR apps require significant battery use; arriving with a full battery charge is recommended, and portable batteries are encouraged.

For the best experience, visitors are highly encouraged to do the following before you visit:

• Download the app at home 

• Charge your device and bring a portable battery if you have one

• Bring headphones

• Make sure mobile data is turned on

• Allow the app to access the phone’s camera, microphone, and location

Is my device compatible with the app?

The app makes use of Augmented Reality technology and high-end 3D graphics. It is because of this that it can only work on the following devices:

  • iPhone X or above.
  • An equivalent of Samsung Galaxy S9 or above.
  • The app works on iPads & Tablets with similar specs. * Apple devices require a software version of IOS 11 and above.
  • Android devices require a software version of Android 9.0 (Pie \ API 28) and above.

The app may also be downloaded onsite via mobile data, though since it is large, downloading it at home is recommended. As Seeing the Invisible is technologically demanding, the app is only compatible with devices that are less than 3 years old.

The app is 1.6GB. It is recommended that devices have a minimum of 4GB free memory.

Do I have to purchase tickets for this exhibit?

No, it is included with Garden Admission. No preregistration needed.

Will I be able to take pictures & selfies of the exhibit?

You will be able to take pictures of the exhibition using your phone or handheld device through the screenshot feature within the app. Due to the nature of the AR technology, rather than taking a selfie, we recommend that someone else hold the device to take pictures of you with the artwork.

What if I don't have a smartphone or tablet?

Unfortunately at this time the exhibition is only accessible via the Seeing the Invisible app which can be download to any standard smart phone or tablet through the Apple store or Google play.

Is the exhibit the same at each venue?

While the works of art on view will be the same in all venues the experience of the exhibition will be different as the works will be displayed in different locations as well as climates. The extraordinary thing about Seeing the Invisible is that many people can be viewing the work simultaneously in different countries around the world but the experience will differ greatly based on the garden and the context of the artwork.

STAY TUNED INTO ALL SEEING THE INVISIBLE UPDATES

Seeing the Invisible will place the same exhibition of commissioned artworks in analogous sites in 12 outdoor garden settings located in different biomes all around the world, creating parallels and contrasts between them. For example, the same work might be set within a group of tall Saguaro cacti in Tucson and among a lush forest of giant redwoods in Edinburgh. The AR nature of the exhibition allows for the creation of expansive, immersive works that engage with existing features of the natural landscape beyond the limitations of what is possible with physical artworks. Many of the works created for the exhibition will address related themes around nature, environment, sustainability, and explore the interplay of the physical world with the digital one. 

 

“There is exceptional potential for botanical gardens, with their deep expertise in engaging people from all walks of life in their complex work, to lead the way in creating new models for visitor experiences of contemporary art, added Jerusalem Botanical Gardens Executive Director Hannah Rendell.
“W
e are deeply gratified for the opportunity to forge new connections with partner gardens all across the globe through Seeing the Invisible, paving the way for what we hope will be many future collaborations.”

Seeing the Invisible was born out of a collaboration during the pandemic with the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens that opened our eyes to the incredible opportunities for creating an entirely new kind of contemporary art experience within the setting of a botanical garden,” said Outset Contemporary Art Fund Co-Founder Candida Gertler OBE and Outset Contemporary Art Fund Israel Director Mirav Katri. “We are thrilled to be partnering with exceptional gardens from all across the world on this exhibition bridging the physical and digital worlds to create a new phygital model, bringing their expert knowledge of their field together with the most cutting-edge technology in contemporary art to develop a new exhibition format beyond the typical museum or gallery space.”

This project has been made possible in partnership with The Jerusalem Foundation. Seeing the Invisible is co-curated by Hadas Maor and Tal Michael Haring, and organized by Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.