When thinking about Rockefeller Center, we don’t normally picture eclectic sounds of outer space, a drum that can play itself, and psychedelic visuals. However, all of these elements are part of New York City’s new immersive experience venue, HERO, located in a former post office below the Channel Gardens. Untapped New York Insiders can get 10% off tickets!

Screen view of Hero Immersive Exhibition
Credit: Jackie Lee for MATTE Content

The first exhibition at the new venue is called “The Liminal.” Spanning 17,000 square feet, the exhibit transports you out of midtown and into another realm. The lobby is lined with a screen that displays the story of the paradigm shift through videos of space and light. Pair that with white noise playing throughout the corridor and it creates a creepy yet beautiful atmosphere. 

Hero Exhibition corridor of lights
Credit: Jackie Lee for MATTE Content

Past the screens, guests walk through a portal into a tunnel of light arches, the perfect photo opportunity. Weave through the arches to pop into a side room with long screens on the floor that play soothing videos of a distant figure swimming in water. Cloths are draped over the screens, making the figures look like mountains over the water. 

Hero Exhibition Piece of Person Swimming

The experience isn’t entirely screens and technology, though. Within the space, there is a fascinating sculpture created by Aaron Taylor Kuftner, titled “Gamelatron Bidadari”. A gamelatron is a sound-producing kinetic sculpture made of bronze, brass, and iron from Indonesia. It is a beautifully crafted drum that can play itself, perfect for the eerie nature of the exhibition as a whole. 

“The Liminal” was created in collaboration with BOSE, who installed 120 speakers throughout almost every inch of the exhibit. The installation is a full experience of the senses. The amazing sounds bring the space together, combining white noise with natural sounds that transport you to another world.  

Hero Exhibition light tree
Credit: Jackie Lee for MATTE Content

The most fascinating part of the experience is the juxtaposition between the exhibit and the location. The space that HERO occupies was once a large post office. Formerly known as the Rockefeller Center Finance Station, the facility closed in March of 2022. A smaller, street-level post office opened up at 40 W. 51 St. to replace it. The walk to the exhibit is quiet and peaceful, surrounded by the traditional Art Deco architecture of Rockefeller Center. Immediately once you open the doors to HERO, you’re greeted with a thoroughly modern and futuristic experience that has completely transformed the vacant space with the power of technology. 

HERO, while being an art exhibition open to the public, is also a venue for members to have access to during the day and for special events. The company behind the project has spent the past two decades crafting events in New York that push the edges of what’s possible when people come together at night. They have taken over warehouses, mansions, museums, and everything in between to fill them with immersive installations. They promise this venue will weave together “an interactive story, an ongoing celebration of the night, and a nightly invitation to release the wild spirit within us all.”  

HERO Rockefeller Center
Matte Project LLC

“The Liminal” at HERO will be on view through December 31st. If you’re an Untapped New York Insider, you can find an exclusive discount code for 10% off tickets to HERO in our private Facebook group and the upcoming Insiders newsletter!

Next, check out 15 Must-See Art Installations in NYC this November