Exhibiting digital art presents both new opportunities and challenges for curators and galleries. Factors like hardware, internet speed, and digital literacy can become barriers for digital art audiences, while adapting new technologies and art practices expands the types of experiences art galleries can offer.  

In the programs linked below, artists and curators discuss and demonstrate different methods for creating virtual galleries. A virtual gallery can reference real-world physics and navigation, exist solely as a webpage, mobile app, social media campaign, or take any of the forms afforded by digital art. Through these programs we explore a multitude of experiences through virtual galleries.  

Videos

The Virtual White Cube

The temporary closure of art galleries and museums during the COVID-19 pandemic led to the creation of many new online exhibits, programs, and galleries. In this panel discussion held early during the pandemic, curators discuss what it means for art when the gallery space is recreated online. What affordances and limitations are created within the virtual ‘white cube,’ and what are other models for representing art online? Speakers include Lillian O’Brien Davis (MacKenzie Art Gallery), Wendy Peart (Dunlop Art Gallery), Eric Hill (Dunlop Art Gallery), and Emily Fitzpatrick (Trinity Square Video). Live-streamed May 7, 2020.

Building a Virtual Gallery in Unity3D

Regina-based digital artist Ryan Hill discusses his virtual exhibit created for the Dunlop Art Gallery. In this live workshop create your own virtual white cube gallery with basic techniques. Learn how to present different media including sculptures, videos, and images, in an interactive 3D space created in Unity 3D. The workshop includes a discussion on the advantages and challenges about creating work in this format, and strategies for sharing it with audiences. Live-streamed May 14, 2020.

What is New Media Art?

What defines ‘new media art’ as a genre? How does technology change our relationship to images, art, and each other? Focusing on new media work from the past four decades, this discussion explores common themes of the genre. We are joined by new media art curator and critic Shauna Jean Doherty and MacKenzie Art Gallery curatorial assistant Lillian O’Brien-Davis. This panel discussion is intended for audiences both new and familiar with new media work.  Live-streamed June 11, 2020.

WellNowWTF? Online exhibition tour with co-curator Faith Holland

What does an online art exhibit look like? Join co-curator and digital artist Faith Holland for a tour of the exhibit Well Now WTF?. Featuring over 140 Canadian and international artists, the exhibit includes video, GIF, and web-based work in its intended platform. Praised for its timely reflections, “[the] exhibition brings some cynical dystopian wit to distract from (or frame anew) the information overload, art-world privilege and sociobiological crises defining this moment for many.” (Leah Sandals, Canadian Art) Live-streamed May 21, 2020.

Content advisory: mature language and/or imagery in use. 

DAiR v1: Video Games by Artists

Tour this exhibition of six digital works created by Saskatchewan artists. DAiR v1: Video Games by Artists explores the conceptual, creative, and narrative boundaries of video game design to explore its potential as an artistic medium. Each work investigates an aspect of our contemporary moment, making inquiries into the subjects of care, control, mental health, isolation, and shared crisis. The exhibit is available as documentation and recorded gameplay. Exhibition originally ran March 4 – May 26, 2021.

 

Resources

Things to think about

  • What kinds of digital art experiences resonate with you?
  • What are some tools and processes we can use to create those experiences?  
  • What technologies are you already using to experience digital content? 
  • What roles do artists play in mainstream online platforms?