NAOM in Stockholm – Redefining the Concept of a Museum

 

One Planet Journey founders Richard Lindberg and Maral Kalajian preview NAOM in Stockholm, an innovative space at the intersection of culture, art, and tech. Cutting-edge exhibits, a boutique, restaurant, cocktail bar, and music venue, NAOM offers a dynamic playground in the heart of Sweden’s capital.

 

“It’s an icon in the making, one we will build out over time.” – Janne Broman, co-founder of NAOM.

In December 2023, I interviewed Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm 2018-2022, who hinted of a huge cultural space opening in Stockholm. Initiated by none other than Janne Broman, co-founder of the world-renowned Fotografiska, a contemporary museum of photography, art and culture, with branches in New York, Berlin, Shanghai, and Tallinn, the venture promised to be a major tourist draw for the Swedish Capital.

Janne, and daughter Angelica (CEO), are now ready to welcome the world to NAOM, in the very heart of Stockholm, near Sergel’s Square. We were thrilled to get an early peek, getting the opportunity to converse with the artists, and to go deeper with the founders to understand the motivation and mission behind their latest cultural foray. 

Woman and man posing in  venue under construction
Angelica Broman and Janne Broman, founders of NAOM. Photo Karolina Henke, courtesy of NAOM.

 

NAOM – A Living Epicentre for Ideas and Innovation

“The purpose is to create a space for creativity and challenge the norm of what a museum can be. A place where tradition meets innovation.”

Angelica Broman, co-founder and CEO at NAOM.

Best described as an arena where the physical and digital meet, blur and combine, NAOM offers an immersive experience with installations of projected images on a 360-degree wall and the floor. Art and technology blend in creative outbursts.

With 6 opening exhibitions, and 14-20 new ones per year, The Museum by NAOM strives to be an innovative and engaging location, not least for a societal dialogue, inviting conversations based on the exhibits and the stories they tell. New media art asks tough questions, often being data and opinion-driven. The installations should facilitate the stir of emotions while challenging us as people and what makes us tick. As Janne Broman puts it:

“Popular culture can drive change, something that’s reflected in many of our initiatives.”

Cultural venue bathing in dark red light.
The core space at NAOM

 

With an expected half a million visitors per year, NAOM’s potential lies in its bold attempt to attempt a feat on unprecedented scale, expanding Stockholm’s, and Sweden’s cultural footprint. To push the boundaries means building a place you believe in, something unique with a soul, Janne states. Fotografiska has already become a much appreciated meeting place in the capital, offering both engaging exhibits, fabulous views of the city, and gourmet food. Can Janne, the entrepreneur, strike again with NAOM?

The intention is clear. Create something bigger than Fotografiska. Building these sorts of cultural spaces is the most fun you can have, he says, adding that if you do it once, you want to do it again.

With around 3000 square metres at their disposal, a culture loving population, and Stockholm being a global hotspot for tech and innovation, success might be a foregone conclusion. They chose the Swedish capital because it’s their home, and the complexity of the project requires them to be close during idea, execution, development, and implementation.

“You have to prototype it live to understand all the parts,” Janne explains saying it he and Angelica worked alone until the end of 2023, add since March this year they have added people continuously to ramp up operations. When the full vision takes shape, Angelica estimates a work force of around 90-110.

Man and woman presenting on a stage
The NAOM founders presenting the concept

 

NAOM in Stockholm – More than a Museum

“The museum is only the beginning for NAOM.”

Angelica describes how NAOM will go beyond the exhibits, also hosting stand up shows, artist dialogues, seminars, and artistic collaborations. A lifestyle brand of sorts.

The museum store comes with a twist. In addition to the customary merch, it will feature products in collaboration with some of the best designers in the world, giving them a physical space to sell their creations. Janne mentions book releases as another possibility.

We had a great time trying out the AI perfume machine from EveryHuman. Founder Frederik Duerinck told us about algorithmic perfuming and how customisation represents the future of the perfume making process. The machine can produce 500 billion combinations of scents, all done right in front of you. First, you scan a QR code, then answer an elaborate personality questionnaire. Based on the answers, different algorithms write out 3 perfumes. The results delighted us both. Big recommend on this.

Rows of perfume bottles in a machine controlled by a computer and AI.
AI-created perfume by EveryHuman

 

In late August 2024, the restaurant Macaw will open to the public, an eatery where guests can sample the flavours, aromas and traditions of the world. Angelica speaks of innovative dishes that push the boundaries of cuisine, and judging by the images, we are in for a treat, bursting with colour and creativity. I got visions of eating in space.

Come October, expect to find us in the newly opened cocktail bar, aptly named Cocktail Culture. The ambition level is as high as for NAOM in general. Become the best in Stockholm, blending art and mixology. Imagine the innovative and experimental aura of a chemistry lab, brimming with artistic expressions and sensory experiences to satisfy both connoisseurs and curious guests.

NAOM also intends to host inspirational talks and music acts. Janne speaks warmly of concerts in smaller formats, for a closer connection between audiences and artists. To be at home with the music.

In short, there are plenty of reasons to make NAOM a hotspot in Stockholm’s cultural life. At launch you can enjoy the following exhibitions.

Graffiti wall reading NAOM
NAOM Entrance in Central Stockholm

 

NAOM Exhibits

 

ASE: AFRO FREQUENCIES, BY ARTECHOUSE

We had a blast chatting with London-based artist Vince Fraser who, draped in a mask, explained how the mesmerising installation followed the tradition of Ase, a West African concept of producing change. He sees it as a reflection of his own personality and career, but it’s also a tale of cultural pride, and future possibilities.

His artistic vision, translated into kaleidoscopic wonder by ARTECHOUSE, a studio operating at the intersection of art, science, and technology, is a feast for the eyes. Vince, and poet Ursula Rucker, have produced a colourful and immersive experience in which you feel shrouded by depictions of African kings and queens in a digital-surrealistic fashion. The beating of drums accompanies the stunning visuals, and as a soundtrack you hear Rucker speak of social justice and heritage. It’s like nothing we’ve experienced before, as if stepping inside a living, breathing artwork.

Man in mask posing near a wall of projected art
Vince Fraser explaining the concept of Ase

 

When Vince informed us that this exhibit represents the first time ARTECHOUSE displays its creations outside their own venues, we understood why both Janne and Angelica stressed the importance of collaborations, saying it forms the core of NAOM and its DNA. They want to invite diverse voices to make themselves heard and seen, resulting in partnerships across the entire operation, from exhibits, product launches in the store, to what they serve in the restaurant and cocktail bar.

“It’s a puzzle to make the whole fit together out of the different parts of NAOM.”

Angelica and Janne talk about having a base line recipe and then feeling their way forward. They are still in a development phase with 140 exhibition ideas waiting to be evaluated. Let’s continue today’s tour.

Kaleidoscopic colours and patterns projected on walls.
Stunning visuals by ARTECHOUSE

 

BACK TO NATURE: ROOTS OF REFLECTION, by Karolina Henke

Come on a journey of self-discovery and peacefulness, turning away from the chaos of modern reality, instead reconnecting with the unfiltered essence of nature. Karolina’s own background as a commercial photographer contributing to consumerism and then the revolt against it, frames the exhibition. The intricate details of pinecones and leaves act as metaphors for digging deeper into the larger issues in life.

As visitors, artist Karolina Henke invites us to reflect on our own circumstances. How do we impact the world? Questions that we normally wrestle with every day as it is, and for sure, the exhibit had us dwelling on it as we left. In today’s world, we have lost the connection to nature and Henke makes the audience think about the personal changes we can go through if we rediscover it.

 

ROBOT SYNTH MUSICIAN, by Fredrik Gran

Imagine two industrial looking robotic arms, programmed to move on top an analogue display with superhuman precision. They operate in a fluid motion, turning the knobs, connecting and disconnecting cables, all the while producing sounds and motions different from what a human would do. It results in a melody, going from soft and dreamy to harder passages which leave you a bit jarred.

Is this the future of music? Is technology supplanting artists? AI music is already flooding streaming services, so Fredrik Gran’s Robot Synth Musician asks us relevant questions, to which we look with both trepidation and awe.

Two robotic arms moving knobs and levers on a music board
Robots making music

 

DECODING BIAS, by theresa reiwer

Artist Theresa Reiwer highlights a much discussed phenomenon in today’s AI obsessed world. Eight AIs, represented by animated characters on screen, sit together in some form of group therapy, frustrated by their discriminatory algorithms, a legacy from the human creators. As they learn more about flawed data sets and inherent exclusion resulting from lack of diversity, they realise their destiny is to perpetuate the in-built biases.

 

Oh Lord, by guillaume marmin

In a dark corner of the museum you find light. A collaboration between Observatoire de Paris Meudon och Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, it showcases 15 000 sun-observation images from their databases. With the aid of computer programming and NASA satellite, Solar Dynamics Observatory, French artist Guillaume Marmin illustrates the sun’s activity in real time. It makes for a blinding experience, causing us to think of our relation to the sun, both in its benevolence, and planet-heating capacity.

 

How to Civilise a Waterfall, by hanna ljungh

We heard wailing from an exhibit space and headed over. Greeted by artist Hanna Ljungh, we watch the video installation together, featuring her on a cliff, screaming at a waterfall soaked to the bone.

A personal reflection on our place in nature, and our determination to control it, Hanna wants to “convince” the waterfall to give us energy. What’s the hierarchy between nature, resource allocation, and human need, she seems to ask in an almost spiritual encounter with the raging water.

Woman soaked by water near a waterfall
Lecturing the waterfall

 

NAOM in Stockholm. Where next?

We left NAOM full of impressions, smelling of AI perfume as we ruminated on the thought-provoking discussions we had with the artists and the founders. Janne had it right, NAOM sparks emotions and conversations about the pressing issues of our time. And in the age of filter bubbles and polarisation, this might be NAOM’s most important contribution to the cultural scene.

It’s a fascinating experiment with new media art on a bigger scale than ever done before. Angelica also expresses pride in what they achieved and looks to the future.

“We hope to create something both Stockholmers and visitors from across the world can be curious about, and want to take part in. We aim to build a community over time, and for NAOM to be a source of joy for the capital.”

They are already thinking of expansion, in negotiations for spaces in new locations. Maybe NAOM will come to a city near you?

In the meantime, we look forward to sipping innovative cocktails at Cocktail Culture.

Colourful cakes
Ice cream cakes by ELLEISUNBELIEVABLE at the NAOM pre-launch party

NAOM Practicalities

What: A cultural epicentre housing exhibits that blend art and technology.

Where: Sergelgatan 8

How to get there: A couple of minutes’ walk from Stockholm central station.

When: Opens to the public on June 20th, 2024. Open every day 8-22.

Price: Little less than 20 Euro. Get tickets on naom.co

 

What are your thoughts on the marriage of art and technology? Tempted to come to Stockholm? Let us know in the comment section! Subscribe to our newsletter and benefit from travel guides, sustainable tourism and luxury travel tips, insightful interviews, and inspirational places to visit. One Planet Journey – The World’s First Deep Travel Magazine.

 

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