TV networks stage immersive pop-up art spaces

Immersive art exhibits aren’t the only IRL experiences gaining momentum with youth. About two-thirds of young adults wish there were more in-person events around TV shows, and some networks are listening, reimagining and elevating entertainment as a more participatory experience.


To kick off the second season of Syfy’s fantasy series, The Magicians, which centers around a secret institution specializing in magic, the network created a pop-up sorcery school inside of Brooklyn’s William Vale Hotel. Called “The Hall of Magic,” the space was reminiscent of Sleep No More and invited participation from the public, who could try their hand at levitating, casting spells, and concocting potions like the show’s characters. While the entrance to the Hall featured minor branding for the show, it was otherwise void of logos and conspicuous marketing in an evolution of the Debranded movement.


FX teased its new show, Legion (based on the Marvel Comics series about a troubled young man who discovers he may be more than human), by creating a pop-up cocktail bar in London's Century Club called The Mutant Lounge. The lounge was staffed by people who, while seemingly normal, gradually revealed their strange and supernatural abilities over the course of the evening. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, it invited fans to enter the headspace of “one of the world’s most powerful mutants” at the Legion Where?House, which featured art installations designed to bring the power of the series to life. 


For the sixth season premiere of Game of Thrones, HBO created an immersive art experience dedicated to bringing The Seven Kingdoms to life at the Angel Orensanz Center in NYC. The Art of the Throne invited an eclectic group of artists to reinterpret memorable scenes from the series through a curated collection installations. In additional to the physical exhibits, a series of digital video diaries documenting the artists’ creative processes were released on Vibe and HBO’s website, where fans could explore the campaign and learn more about each artist.