Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada — 4 December, 2019: The MacKenzie Art Gallery is pleased to announce the appointment of artists Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll to the positions of Digital Coordinators, as they lead the creation of a new Digital Lab and collaborative digital arts training initiative at the Gallery. This initiative will be rolled out over the next two years.
“I am very excited to welcome our two new Digital Coordinators to the team at the MacKenzie Art Gallery”, says CEO and Executive Director Anthony Kiendl. “The MacKenzie’s mandate is to create transformative experiences of the world through art, and the introduction of these new team members and initiatives at the Gallery will offer our visitors new ways to think about, and create, digital art.”
Funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund and supported through partnerships with the Initiative for Indigenous Futures, Jonathan and Cat’s focus will include the launch of the MacKenzie’s Library & Digital Lab, public events and education sessions, as well as the creation of a mobile media lab to deliver digital arts workshops and training across rural Saskatchewan.
“There are few people within the international digital arts community that I admire as much as Jonathan and Cat; they are playful, enthusiastic, incredibly talented and knowledgeable, and they root their practice within a complex understanding of ethics,” says John Hampton, Director of Programs. “Their experience as artists, educators, technicians, and thinkers is already bringing an incredible energy to our community, and I’m sure they will help inspire and lift up the current and future digital arts communities in our city and province.”
“We are very excited to work with the local arts community through the MacKenzie,” says Jonathan Carroll. “Interactive digital art is a great doorway for young people to start thinking of themselves as artists and active producers instead of passive consumers. When art institutions like the MacKenzie employ artists, it gives us the opportunity to share the skills and techniques we’ve developed in our practice with a larger community. We are grateful for the meaningful exchanges that the Gallery facilitates. Thursday is going to be a fun chance to demonstrate the interactive art that we make and talk to the community about creating digitally.”
Join Cat and Jonathan on Thursday, 5 December at 7 PM inside of the MacKenzie’s café, Craft Services, for an introduction to their work, and the chance to take part in an “ART-CADE”, located in the Library & Digital Lab. The evening will include the opportunity to participate in new Virtual Reality and video games produced by Bluemke, Carroll, and other members of the artist collectives Tough Guy Mountain and SpekWork. Become your own unpaid intern in “Intern Purgatory,” an immersive virtual reality experience; or battle against labour automation in “GIGCO: Escape from the Gig Economy.”
ABOUT CAT BLUEMKE AND JONATHAN CARROLL
Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll are artists using game design, performance, and expanded reality technologies to explore the dynamic relationship of work and play. Collaborators since 2013, their work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, Kunsternus Hus, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 2018 they co-founded SpekWork, an art collective making games about labour. The collective hacks the technologies of virtual and augmented reality, video games, and artificial intelligence to ask pressing questions about the future of labour and leisure in a networked austerity society. They are excited to join the MacKenzie Art Gallery as Digital Programs and Operations Coordinators.