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Come for the Deep-Sea Selfies. Stay to Learn About Sustainability.


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Come for the Deep-Sea Selfies. Stay to Learn About Sustainability.


A new Manhattan pop-up experience, “Ocean Cube,” takes visitors underwater in a technical simulation filled with bioluminescent sea creatures.

The exhibition, on view this week through Aug. 18 at 60 Grand Street on the Lower East Side, features five different deep-sea rooms, leading from a coral tunnel flowing with hundreds of fiber strands to a sea of jelly fish and a room full of bubbles.

The exhibition aims to evoke a meditative “sensorial” experience for visitors, Randy Fernando, one of the designers of the experience, said by email. It imagines an extreme futuristic ocean world and draws attention to sustainability and preservation movements by including a room called the Recycle Bank, featuring a sea of plastic bottles.

“The show is meant to provide an interactive and playful experience to appreciate the aesthetics of the ocean environment, while incorporating touches of activism,” Fernando said.

Instashow LLC. created the show with sustainable practices in mind in collaboration with organizations including the University at Buffalo Fabrication Workshop and the University at Buffalo SMART Lab. Scraps from the fabrication workshop, like a repurposed safety window, were incorporated into elements including the exhibition’s sign. Leftover materials from the creation of the jellyfish were used for other elements.

The Instagramable experience, which joins a host of other pop-ups that have come up in the past year, comes alive with the help of fiber optic lights, Fernando said.

[Read a Critic’s Notebook by Amanda Hess about pop-up experiences.]

As for the depiction of the polluted ocean that appears, “it’s relatively intuitive,” Fernando said.

Tickets are available via the “Ocean Cube” website.

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