The Future of Art is Immersive

The Future of Art is Immersive

While the connection fostered by these interactive experiences fuels our artistic souls, these creations have real-world fiscal benefits to companies. They offer scalable options, deeper engagement and retention, and unique opportunities for viral marketing in ways that are more effective than traditional mediums.

“Art galleries and museums have realised that built-in opportunities for “user-generated content” (UGC) can be profitable; as the artist Dena Yago wrote in a 2018 essay, “a company’s marketing plan may include a UGC campaign that broadcasts a call to action, or CTA … this response is often the creation of more content – the posting of selfies, photos and videos.”

Check out this great article by The Guardian which explores some of the world’s top immersive spaces and how they’re using technology to transform the way audiences experience art.

Inspiring immersive artists to check out:
James Turrell
Random International

Alt Ethos is excited to be amongst these talented leaders in creating interactive and immersive projects. When you’re considering where your budget goes for the next event or long-term project, look to us to create mind-blowing immersive experiences that will bring you an ROI you can proudly report back to your stakeholders.  We love to use technology to explore how we can engage wonder and create unexpected joy and connection. View more of our work on immersive projects and events around the country and world.

The Meow Wolf Effect in Denver 2021

The Meow Wolf Effect in Denver 2021

Meow Wolf’s biggest attraction yet has finally come to Denver. But that’s by no means the whole story. For years, Denver has been preparing for Meow Wolf’s arrival in ways that are impacting not just the city but the entire region – and very likely beyond.

Millennials across the globe increasingly value experiences over material possessions.

For a while now, Denver has been the number one choice of those among them wanting to move to a new city in the US, and a third of Denver residents are now millennials (CNBC).  City government took notice, and laid plans to stay ahead of the curve with a multi-year community-generated cultural plan designed to fully integrate arts, culture and creativity into daily life, work and play. These ingredients of Denver’s special sauce are part planned, part serendipitous – and that recipe is the reason Meow Wolf and Alt Ethos CEO and Founder Ethan Bach (who had worked together in Santa Fe on helping to elect a new mayor and in Denver for the Meow Wolf announcement party) recognized the potential and established their primary operations in Denver.

Years in the making, the Meow Wolf Effect is still unfolding.

Early predictions were for 1.5M visitors per annum, but the surge of advance ticket sales suggests there may well be a lot more. Whatever the number, this massive new influx of visitors will have major implications for the creative economy (“Is Meow Wolf good for artists? Overall, yes” – Denver Post), the tourist industry, and the culture at large. It will transform opportunities for growth in entertainment offerings, art sales, retail, and dining, which will have a ripple effect across the region. It’s never been just about the Meow Wolf site itself.   

As Ethan says: “The Meow Wolf Effect is an intimate and intentional look into a cultural phenomenon sparking the creative economy in a way that I have not witnessed in my lifetime.

This is our moment of opportunity. If we keep harnessing our collective energy with strategic planning in order to make the best possible outcome, we can make a huge shift in the new economy.”

Read more in Alt Ethos’ article on The Meow Wolf Effect.

Or watch our community presentation.

The Meow Wolf Effect

By now everyone in Denver is aware that Meow Wolf is coming to town. The overall reaction is one of anticipation as the famed immersive art experience from Santa Fe prepares for opening a 90,000 square foot experience in Denver in 2020. In this blog series, I will discuss such topics as the creative economy and how cities can best utilize this new form of entertainment. This overview will provide context as we explore how the Meow Wolf Effect will alter the ethos of Denver and perhaps a city near you.

The world is changing quickly as millennials and other generations alike hold increasing interest in experiences and Instagram over the purchase of material items. In 2016, Denver had the highest net annual migration of millennials of any metropolitan area in the United States (NYT). With an increasing millennial population and the fact that more than 75% of millennials “would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable” (Harris Group), how does a city like Denver keep up?

Denver is already leading the way in support of the creative economy with its Imagine 2020 Cultural Plan. Denver is actively striving for engagement in the arts that brings together local creative problem solvers. “Overwhelmingly, Denver residents believe that arts, culture and creativity contribute to the vitality of the city. Eighty-seven percent of Denver residents believe that arts, culture and creativity contribute to Denver’s economy, as reported in the scientific public survey conducted for the cultural plan. Additionally, 85 percent agree the sector attracts tourism. Eighty-one percent believe that arts, culture and creativity help develop active and unique neighborhoods.” – Imagine 2020. How does this all tie into the new addition of Meow Wolf to our community?

Alt Ethos Projection MappingA few months ago I attended a talk at the Commons on B-Corp Certification to explore the option for Alt Ethos. Meow Wolf officially became a B-Corp late 2017 and CEO Vince Kadlubek was there speaking on the experience. According to the B-Corp website, “carrying the B-Corp status holds for-profit companies up [to] rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” With this kind of public declaration and actual certifiable commitment to transparency, a city and its counterparts would expect to work in collaboration with Meow Wolf to make the best experience for the city and its inhabitants.

So, how can local communities, cities, businesses, museums, and artists utilize this newfound momentum in Denver?  In a world where we need more support for creative thinking to solve current global and local issues, how can we launch a statewide effort to harness this momentum? Here are a couple of concepts that come to mind:

  • Hire an Experiential Design Company to stay relevant and help transform your museum, event, or corporate lobby into an experience that captivates audiences. (Alt Ethos)
  • Create a driving tour between Denver and Santa Fe that outlines arts and cultural offerings in towns along I-25 and US 160. Towns such as Mancos and Trinidad are already boosting their creative and cultural districts. (DenverPost)
  • Create tourism packages that include an “art experience” inclusive of Meow Wolf. Purposefully creating tours around the city that have “Meow Wolf” type of art and experiences. (Santa Fe Example)
  • Support local artists by attending events and purchasing art.
  • Support local nonprofits. We recommend:
    • CBCA works to advance Colorado’s creative economy by connecting business and the arts. We accomplish our mission through year-round advocacy, research, training, and arts engagement efforts
    • Denver Arts + Technology Advancement (DATA) whose mission is Empowerment Through Creative Technology. Helping ensure that ALL people have access to digital literacy.
    • RedLine supports artists and builds community in Denver and offers arts education and engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change.
    • Think 360 Arts leads Colorado in cultivating and sustaining the arts as essential to all learning through creative experiences for students and teachers.

In a time when change is needed, most people’s imaginations need to be sparked. Cities are in need of a defibrillator shock to kickstart a creative economy revolution. Perhaps The Meow Wolf Effect is that spark that will help ignite that change. We can always hope for the best outcome and welcome any opportunities to create change, but the responsibility falls on our local community. Together we can help Denver to become a more progressive, expressive city that is recognized worldwide. Please register to join Alt Ethos on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at the Commons on Champa at 5:30pm as we present Denver Vision: The Meow Wolf Effect and lead an open discussion on how Denver can galvanize The Meow Wolf Effect in hopes of setting an example for other cities.

For more information on this event, please contact us.

NOTE: The event has since ended, but you can watch the keynote and town hall discussion here.

Alt Ethos Meow Wolf Infinity Mirror

Alt Ethos Meow Wolf Connection:

Alt Ethos recently worked with Meow Wolf, providing a projection mapped balloon sculpture at the Meow Wolf Denver Announcement Party. Ethan Bach, Alt Ethos founding CEO met the Meow Wolf crew approximately ten years ago while living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Through his participation in the local arts community and serving as the Digital Dome Director at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Ethan and the group regularly engaged in the community.  Meow Wolf founders appropriated wood and other materials from Ethan’s garage for the building of the Due Return as many community members pitched in to support the local art group. Ethan also served on Javier for the Arts, an advisory committee for Javier Gonzales when he was running for Mayor, alongside Meow Wolf’s founding CEO Vince Kadlubek.

Alt Ethos is an experiential design studio that creates engaging experiences for events and permanent exhibitions. Alt Ethos creates engaging environments by transforming physical spaces into shared interactive experiences that meld various forms of light and sound into creative technology. We create moments that disrupt, engage, and inspire.

Meow Wolf is a Santa Fe, New Mexico based arts and entertainment group that established in 2008 as an art collective. They create immersive, interactive experiences to transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration. The company is composed of nearly 200 artists across all disciplines including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography and video production, virtual and augmented reality, music and audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming and performance, and more. Basically everything.

The views, information, and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of Alt Ethos and its employee.

We reserve the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner we see fit blog entries or comments that we, in our sole discretion, deem to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, of an express commercial nature, or otherwise unacceptable.

Alt Ethos’ CEO Ethan Bach named Westword’s 100 Colorado Creatives 4.0

Alt Ethos’ CEO Ethan Bach named Westword’s 100 Colorado Creatives 4.0

“An entrepreneur with an eye on the future’s future, Ethan Bach and his crew specialize in experimentation with digital media and virtual reality — projected in domes, across walls and on interactive screens — in his search for the next big thing in visual technology. And as the guiding light at two startups — the media studio Alt Ethos Ltd. and Denver Arts + Technology Advancement, a nonprofit that provides residencies for new-media artists — Bach is interested in connecting with audiences through mind-blowing imagery and technological tricks of light. Catch him if you can, as he answers the 100CC questionnaire.”

We are honored that our CEO, Ethan Bach is recognized as Westword’s 100 Colorado Creatives 4.0. Bach moved to Denver three years ago to start our two organizations – Alt Ethos and Denver Arts + Technology Advancement (DATA). He built our teams through a collaborative structure and a vision for how humans can find a greater connection with each other through creative technology. Bach’s hope is to become more involved with urban planning design, public and private organizations, and leave his mark on Colorado by invigorating the creative economy through the DATA and Alt Ethos.

Ethan Bach DomeOur favorite highlights:
Westword: What (or who) is your creative muse?
Ethan Bach: My current creative muse is the vision of a humanity with a bright future. I am driven by the idea that humans are in a state of evolution. I participate in the exploration of human communication through using creative technology in ways that expand connection and consciousness.

 What’s your best or favorite accomplishment as a creative?
Ethan Bach: My current work — building two creative organizations, Alt Ethos and Denver Arts + Technology Advancement (DATA) — is my favorite accomplishment as a creative to date. These sister organizations were created on the same day, and both continue to grow and expand.

Kudos to our CEO who is responsible for holding the vision of the company, providing strategic leadership by working with the Members and other management to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans, and policies. He models our company’s culture, builds and leads the executive team, and drives the company to success.  Read more here.


The views, information, and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of Alt Ethos and its employee.

We reserve the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner we see fit blog entries or comments that we, in our sole discretion, deem to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, of an express commercial nature, or otherwise unacceptable.

Alt Ethos: Experiential Design Studio to Represent Colorado in Washington DC

Alt Ethos: Experiential Design Studio to Represent Colorado in Washington DC

Alt Ethos: Experiential Design Studio will represent Colorado at America’s Small Business Development Center showcase to share how they meld various forms of light, sound, interactivity and creative technology into memorable interactive experiences. Alt Ethos was nominated by the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center and will represent the State of Colorado at America’s SBDC Showcase in on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 13, 2018.

Alt Ethos was awarded a trip to the Nation’s capital to showcase the innovation and success in the Colorado business community. This honor comes after Alt Ethos was named Denverite’s Company to Watch (2016) and selected by the SBDC’s Leading Edge™  program to compete in the Colorado Small Business Development Center’s statewide business plan competition (2017).  As part of the A-SBDC’s Showcase, Alt Ethos will share their company with legislators, DBDC leaders, and other selected SBDC clients from around the country.

Alt Ethos creates engaging environments for events and permanent exhibitions. They transform physical spaces into memorable experiences by combining creative technology with compelling stories. Alt Ethos helps organizations amplify brand awareness, meaningfully connect with loyal customers, and differentiate their products and services in competitive markets.

America’s SBDC represents America’s nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) – the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the United States and its territories.

The Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) serves dedicated entrepreneurs who want to strengthen their path to success. Utilizing the powerful partnerships of the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Denver Metro SBDC has been a cornerstone of the business community for over 25 years.

Alt Ethos is honored to be selected to represent Colorado at this year’s America’s Small Business Development Center Showcase on Capitol Hill in Washington DC and will use the trip as an opportunity to explore relationships throughout the nation’s capital. Join Alt Ethos on social media (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter) to keep up to date on the Showcase trip as well as other highlights as the company continues to grow.