Contemporary Art Society Annual Conference: The Virtual in Museums: Hot Medium?

This event was held on 10 May 2018

10 May 2018, 10.30–5.30pm 

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

£15/Free to Sackler CPD Programme members 

Join us for the Contemporary Art Society’s 2018 Annual Conference, where we will explore the broad dialogue between computer-generated imagery and its representation in museums

Tracing the influence of the internet in art production and the subsequent need for museums to represent this impact, we will focus on the rapid development of virtual reality into the artistic realm.

Virtual reality to this day is defined as a computer generated environment that is both immersive and interactive, tied to its technology – a headset and a screen of variable dimensions that enables to create multi-layered imagery. Still a solipsistic experience at this stage, virtual reality is as a counter point to the shared experience of a museum visit and we hope to think critically and constructively about the term virtual in relation to museums.

Marshall McLuhan defined a ‘hot medium’ as something that “engages the senses completely and requires minimal participation from the user”. We will question the status of virtual reality and explore its manifold associations with the artistic context. Curators, artists and specialists in the field will critically discuss how this technology is used both as a product and as an object in itself.

Inquiring, engaging and exploring the possibilities of the digital – from enhancement of collections to immersive environments – we hope to discuss the distinctions between what is real and what is artificial, what is experienced and what is perceived; and to expand the notion of what the virtual can be.

This is a Contemporary Art Society event in association with the National Gallery.

Image above: Detail from Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, 'Finding Fanon 2' (2015). UHD Digital Video screenshot Courtesy of Larry Achiampong and David Blandy