Text by: Fiammetta Cesana

Many of us are still pretty unaware about what terms like virtual, artificial reality, projection mapping, rendering, spacial audio actually mean and which impacts they are having on our social and cultural developments. They seem to descrive a long distant world, something that so far we can only join “marginally” in our everyday life as nothing but ludic experience. But the truth is different, or it is going to be so very soon. Ongoing initiatives are proving indeed the relevance of mixed reality in trying to promote the community’s progress, starting just from the arts.

Combining the effective pledge to education and culture of Onassis USA – Onassis Foundation’s international affiliate – and the growing knowledge on digital technology carried out by NEW INC – cultural incubator born from New Museum -, this New York-based partnership gave birth to the ONX Studio, a work and exhibition space, harbinger of new artistic and public opportunities. 

Once opened, in late spring, the ONX Studio will be home of several artists as well as producers who will work in mixed reality for a year long term with the aim of designing projects destined to the improvement of the public realm. Moreover, the studio will be transformed every year, for a month, in a mixed reality gallery featuring the works of its members. 

ONXStudio_Rendering_Image by Leong Leong. Simulation of art inspired by Sensorium

As aforementioned, the union between Onassis USA and NEW INC didn’t happen by chance. The latter indeed, over the past six years, has been reference point for leading talents in the development of storytelling through advanced digital mediums. One of its members, Eliza McNitt, along with producer Darren Aronofsky, created “Spheres”, the first VR experience to be acquired for millions by Sundance, as well as the widely used volumetric film-capture hardware product, “Depthkit”, has been launched during the mandate at NEW INC of the award-winning studio Scatter.

On the other hand, Onassis USA’s commitment to culture and community acts in defense of equal opportunities through the impactful messages of both visual and verbal arts. Presenting theatrical and dance performances, to exhibitions, conversations, lectures, and being in collaboration with Onassis Stegi in Athens and different American educational institutions, its mission is to urge discussions about today’s meanings of democracy, human rights, and the content changes we are all coping with at global level. 

So the newborn ONX Studio seems to blend the complementary goals of its institutional parents, trying to achieve a cultured and prosperous society through the advantages of new forms of technology and art. 

Designed by the architectural firm Leong Leong, ONX Studio will provide a place for artists to develop beta test and demo their works in a presentation gallery, and will host salons where the community can share best practices and foster a network and support system.

 The project is directed by NEW INC’s Director Stephanie Pereira, its cofounder Karen Wong, Onassis USA Artistic and Executive Director Vallejo Gantner, and the Onassis Foundation’s Head of Digital and Innovation Prodromos Tsiavos.


Onassis Foundation’s mission is and will always be human-centric. Since 1975, it focuses on the fields of culture, health, and education. Releasing the potential of artists, scholars, and scientists, it has supported Greek programs in universities around the world. Athens, a cultural center which hosts performances and activities across the whole spectrum of the arts from theatre, dance, music, cinema and the visual arts to the written word, with an emphasis on contemporary cultural expression. The Onassis Foundation believes in active citizens with bold ideas and optimistic dreams, and embraces process, research, study, experimentation, as well as the values of freedom, democracy and human rights. 

In 2000, Onassis USA was founded as the first international affiliate of the Onassis Foundation.


The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.

NEW INC was cofounded by Lisa Phillips and Karen Wong in 2013 and is the first museum led cultural incubator dedicated to supporting innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship across art, design, and technology. NEW INC’s Director is Stephanie Pereira. For more information, visit