Museums Without Walls conference & exhibition
Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
In the spirit of critical and social museology, the Museums Without Walls conference invites us to reclaim notions of virtuality from the technopositivist buzz and revisit the long history of relationships between museums and media.
The many contributions to the event open space for the discussion and exercise of new configurations for art institutions amidst other information technologies. They propose further ways to dispute ossified narratives and account for overlooked artforms; access and engage with collections; return cultural artifacts to the spheres of circulation; take care of the publics, their histories, circumstances, and modes of expression.
The conference is accompanied by a week-long exhibition that gathers projects that reimagine our modes of cultural engagement, access, and preservation, using media as diverse as publications, interactive videos, and immersive environments.
Keynotes by Michael Connor (Rhizome), Sarah Kenderdine (Experimental Museology Lab / EPFL), Pippin Barr (Concordia University), and Sara Diamond (OCAD University).
The event also counts with the participation of: George Oates (Flickr Foundation); Luisa Ji & Jerrold McGrath (UKAI Projects); Teodora Fartan (CSNI/LSBU); Katharina Niemeyer (UQAM); Blake Fall-Conroy & Nimrod Astarhan (Art Institute of Chicago); Treva Legassie (Concordia University); paula roush (CSNI/LSBU); Aarati Akkapeddi; Brandie MacDonald (Museum of Us); Chao Tayiana Maina (African Digital Heritage); Danuta Sierhuis & Jennifer Nicoll (Agnes Etherington Art Centre); Jennifer Kennedy (Queen’s University); Michael Carter-Arlt (Toronto Metropolitan University); Mikayla Brown (Temple University); Su-Anne Yeo (University of British Columbia); Elina Lex (Concordia University); Diego Rotman (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem); Lea Mauas (Queen’s University); Catalina Alvarez, Liz Flyntz & Leander O’Connell Johnson (Ant Farm Antioch Art Building Creative Preservation Initiative); Bethany Berard (Carleton University); Sarah E.K. Smith (Western University); Ellie Décary-Chen, Lucas LaRochelle & Prakash Krishnan, Heather Mitchell (Things+Time); Jung-Ah Kim, Peggy Fussell, Tia Bankosky, Prerana Das, Drew Burton, Jessa Laframboise, Anna Douglas (Queen’s University); Ana Valine; Camille Henrot; Diogo de Moraes Silva; Gallery 404; Mari Nagem; Michael Lou; Museum of Other Realities; SystemKollectiv; The Broken Timeline; The Zium Society; Velcro Ediciones; and Zentrum für Netkunst.
Museums Without Walls is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Queen’s University, the Screen Cultures and Cultural Studies Program, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
Museums Without Walls exhibition
Art and Media Lab, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
390 King Street West, Kingston, ON
Visiting hours: Aug 15-20, 12-4pm
Part of a larger survey on virtual art institutions and communities, the Museums Without Walls exhibition gathers projects that attempt to reimagine our modes of cultural engagement, access, and preservation using media as diverse as publications, interactive videos, and simulated environments.
Participating artists and initiatives include Ana Valine, Camille Henrot, Diogo de Moraes Silva, Écran Total, Gallery 404, Mari Nagem, Michael Lou, Museum of Other Realities, paula roush & msdm, SystemKollectiv, The Broken Timeline, The Zium Society, Velcro Ediciones , and Zentrum für Netkunst.
Special visiting hours during the Museums Without Walls conference. On Monday Aug 15, at 6pm, there will be an opening with a catalogue launch covering the activities of first year of the project.
Museums Without Walls is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Queen’s University, Screen Cultures and Cultural Studies Program, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
“Dis/embodied Audio-visual Collage” online workshop
Register to participate on Zoom.
The Museums Without Walls 2022 program begins next week with the online workshop Dis/embodied Audio-visual Collage: Collective World-Building with Daniel Lichtman.
In this workshop, participants will work together to produce an interactive 3D environment composed of audio recordings and photographic fragments of participants' immediate, physical surroundings. Over the course of the workshop, participants will capture audio and photographic source material and work together to compose this material into a 3D scene using the Unity game engine and the Community Game Development Toolkit. Participants will then collectively explore the resulting environment as avatars, charting a network of chance encounters with disembodied audio-visual fragments of participants’ surroundings as they move through the virtual space. Each play-through of the scene will yield a unique path through this collaboratively produced collage, representing a unique, virtual composition of participants’ collective experience of space, material and sound.
The Community Game Development Toolkit is a set of tools that make it easy and fun for students, artists, researchers and community members to create their own visually rich, interactive 3D environments and story-based games without the use of coding or other specialized game-design skills. The toolkit provides intuitive tools for members of diverse communities to represent their own traditions, rituals and heritages through interactive, visual storytelling.
Call: Museums Without Walls – Conference & Exhibition
An inquiry into virtual art / institutions and communities
Queen’s University, Ontario, August 15-17 + Online
Deadline: April 23
The global pandemic has laid bare the technological crossroads where cultural institutions find themselves in the early 21st century. By promoting a superabundance of ‘content’ and multiplying the transversality of connections, digital networks have increasingly undermined the authority of museums as sites for memory preservation, collection stewardship, and discourse reproduction. All the while, new media systems keep promising to expand the museal apparatus and radically transform the ways in which art institutions can perform their mandates and operate within society.
Has the modern project of the museum finally come to its terms? Can future forms of socio-cultural institutionality be found among online databases, simulated environments, social media communities, smart contracts, and other computer platforms?
These questions invite us to reclaim notions of virtuality from the technopositivist buzz and revisit the long history of relationships between museums and media. In the spirit of critical and social museology – and particularly interested in non-Western perspectives –, the Museums Without Walls conference seeks to open a space for the discussion and exercise of new configurations for art and cultural institutions.
We are looking for proposals of papers, talks, workshops, publications, exhibitions, websites, movies, and other forms of artworks that engage with subjects such as:
- Museums and/in virtual realities
- Uses of new and old media systems and VR/AR/XR for cultural access and documentation
- Online / virtual exhibitions, arts residencies, and other forms of public outreach
- Technopolitics in/of galleries, libraries, archives and museums
- Art institutions as discursive, knowledge, and informational frameworks
- Interfaces for art and artifact collections
- Museum projects in simulated, digital, and gaming environments
- Publications and merchandise as extensions of institutional activities
- Printed, broadcasted, and streamed exhibitions
- Audiotours, videoguides, and other interactive forms of mediating artist practice
- Cultural management and curatorial strategies in the age of computer networks
- Possibilities of collaboration and dissent enabled by online platforms
- Counterpublic appropriations and the unsettling of museal spaces
- Performances of monumentality using media and XR technologies
- The mediation of absences and struggles for re/depatriation
- Multi-user web platforms as exhibition sites (Mozilla Hubs, New Art City, common.garden, etc)
- Public repositories of museal data (Google Arts & Culture, Smithsonian Open Access, Scan the World, etc)
- Rogue 3D scanning and other digital bootlegs
- Art institutions in the ‘metaverse’
The Museums Without Walls conference takes place at Queen’s University, Ontario, between August 15-17. The conference will intersect with the Summer Institute: The Curatorial organized by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Queen’s Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies program, and it will be completely free to attend and participate. A number of online activities will precede and follow the event.
Submit your proposals by April 23 using the link: https://forms.gle/Y9SKgiKg6u2Wzm1L6.
Proposals consist in an abstract/synopsis (100-250 words), short author’s bio (100 words), and links to supporting material. When submitting, please indicate whether your proposal is for presentation online and/or on site at Queen’s, during the days of the conference. For workshop and artwork proposals, please include links to relevant documentation as well as technical and installation requirements. Submit any questions to email@example.com.
Museum Without Walls is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
AFAAB Summer Program
This summer, the virtual Ant Farm Antioch Art Building will be teeming with activities! Come attend a karaoke show, a guided tour, a screening program and an exhibition on this WebVR version of the venue, constructed from 1971 archival architect’s drawings.
- James Frederickson Memorial Karaoke Show, July 13, 7pm EST - REGISTER
- AFAAB Open House, July 19, 6pm EST - REGISTER
- Film Screening: Starless and Outskirts, July 23, 6.30pm EST - REGISTER
- Menagerie by Michael Perea, July 30, 7pm EST - REGISTER
Participation is free but places are limited. Register in advance at punk-preservation.eventbrite.com.
Rigor Mortis Party
guided virtual tours across other MAES
This Saturday, come for live, guided tours with artists and curators of two virtual versions of the Espirito Santo Art Museum that extrapolate its building and completely recreate the institution!
"The Ant Farm Antioch Art Building in VR" recreates the spirit of the original place, designed by radical architects and Ant Farmers Doug Michels and Tom Morey and built in 1971 out of local off-the-shelf components.
"Non-Space I" seeks to displace and reformulate the social aspect of the WebVR space. Employing verticality, mirroring as well as dislocation of the voice and images of viewer inhabited avatar bodies, it teases out other possibilities of social interaction to be explored.
When? Saturday July 26, 6pm EST
No registration necessary
!PUFF! live concert in VR
June 24, 8-10pm EST, online.
Places limited. Register free at Eventbrite.
Conor Jameson's !PUFF! / Bad Attitude: Singing the character, and the "Bubble Grunge Vignettes" is a collaborative concept album blending music and fiction to depict the lives of seven women through a musical EP and anthology of flash fiction.
The live concert will be presented simultaneously at the Ant Farm Antioch Art Building in VR.
AFAAB is a collaborative multi-disciplinary project to preserve both the physical structure and the spirit of the Antioch Art Building, designed by radical architects and Ant Farmers Doug Michels and Tom Morey and built in 1971 out of local off-the-shelf components.
Over the next months, the VR version of the AFAAB will be open for exploration, performance, and conversation. Inside you’ll find an exhibition of distressed archives, speculative architecture, utopian musings, and a recursive video portal to the real art building.
Poetics of World Building
Talk with Jawa El Khash
June 18h, 10am EST, online
Register free at https://bit.ly/2RXZXtv
Jawa El Khash is an artist, researcher and technologist. She works in VR, holography and painting, currently based in Toronto. Her practice is focused on the art and poetics of VR narrative and environmental storytelling. In this talk, El Khash will be taking the audience through her work, thought process and artistic approach to world building.
This talk is presented by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
Image: The Seed Vault (© Jawa El Khash, 2021)
Virtual Places for Critical Immersion and Collaborative Knowledge
Workshop with Alexandra Antonopoulou and Eleanor Dare
May 28h, 10am EST, online
In the framework of the Museum Without Walls project, this workshop examines how virtual spaces can become places for knowledge generation and collaboration. Artist-researchers Alexandra Antonopoulou and Eleanor Dare will share their experiences in the decade long Phi Books, a writing project engaged with human and non-human creative collaboration, generating forms of visual, sonic, animated, and embodied storytelling. They will explore how to deploy technologies as heuristics for collaboration and how to position virtual spaces as horizontal non-predetermined structures. They will also convey an ‘immerticritical’ - immersive and critical - approach towards technology, language, and image-making. At the end, participants will be able to originate their own collaborative methods and experimental storytelling forms, with analogue and digital ‘agents’ supporting the process across self-defined dimensions.
ELEANOR DARE is a creative technologist with a PhD and MSc from Goldsmiths Department of Computing as well as an MA in Creative Writing. Eleanor's research is concerned with the limits of symbolic logic, representation, creative non-fiction as well as the implications of virtual reality. Eleanor's published writing critiques the neoliberal ideology of Smart Cities and AI reductionism as well as the colonialism of Design Thinking. Eleanor has taught computer programming and themes relating to digital theory at Goldsmiths, the University of Derby, the Open University, UCL, RCA and the University of the Arts. In the last two decades Eleanor has exhibited many digital artworks and has published numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed papers addressing computation, AI, emerging narrative and systems of knowledge. These include chapters in MIT’s Leonardo, as well as presenting pedagogic papers at Cambridge University’s Faculty of Education. Eleanor was formerly Reader in Digital Media and Head of Programme at the Royal College of Art.
ALEXANDRA ANTONOPOULOU is a UK based designer and a Course Leader at the University of the Arts London. Alexandra has also taught design, story-making and immersive environments modules at Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art. Her work engages with wider discourses on art and design pedagogy, myths and fairytales, interdisciplinary collaboration, and science communication. Her artistic practice has been showcased in various galleries including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Modern Gallery and the London Design Museum. Her research examines child-play as well as story-making, performance and design as tools for criticality and everyday invention. Alexandra Antonopoulou holds a Ph.D. in Design from Goldsmiths.
Image: Phi Books (© Antonopoulou & Dare)
Selected proposals – VR Residency
The project Museum Without Walls presents the proposals selected for its Virtual Reality Residency Program. Throughout Abril and May, the participating residents will develop different versions of the Espírito Santo Art Museum - MAES in the virtual reality Mozilla Hubs platform. The creation processes will be shared on this page, and the final results will be presented by the end of May, along with the new Museum Without Walls website.
- Rigor Mortis
- The Space Expanding Room
Catalina Alvarez e Liz Flyntz
- Você é a encruzilhada das suas memórias
Garu, Pedra Silva, Rodrigo Lopes
Call for proposals: VR Residency Program
Museums Without Walls is seeking proposals for its virtual reality residency program. Residencies will take place through April and Mayin different versions of the Espírito Santo Art Museum – MAES hosted in the Mozilla Hubs platform. Four participants will be selected to occupy and recreate this environment based on their artistic and/or curatorial visions. The selected proposals will receive specialized mentorship and a development fee of CAD $ 600. The residency outcomes will be presented in the Museum Without Walls program in late May.
MAES is situated in the Southeast coast of Brazil. Museum Without Walls takes inspiration from its recent reopening, after a long reform which recuperated elements of the museum’s original architecture while making the exhibition space much more susceptible to its surroundings. Amidst the global pandemic, the project invites us to examine how art institutions operate, both within and without their physical buildings, as systems for representation and discourse.
Virtual Reality technologies provide new opportunities to reconfigure the terms of relationship between artwork and space – experience and object – public and institution. These technologies may pluralize the access to conventional artforms, cultivate digitally-native poetics, and accomplish other distributions of the sensible. We are looking for proposals that creatively engage with technological contingencies and exercise virtuality as a potential for reimagining the museum.
Mozilla Hubs is a multi-user virtual reality platform with a fairly low learning curve. On top of that, it is compatible with both regular browsers and the last-generation VR headsets. The choice to host this residency in Hubs is meant not only to amplify possibilities of participation, but also to emphasize the social dimensions of the museum as a public infrastructure. Proponents are encouraged to get acquainted with the platform and visit some of the exhibitions made in it before submitting their proposals.
Apply by sending the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 29:
- CV (text format – docx / rtf)
- Illustrated PDF portfolio and/or website link
- Artistic or curatorial proposal (500 words description, followed by a list of links to relevant references, such as participating works/artists and concept sketches)
The Museum Without Walls residency program is committed to the diversity of publics as well as to free and open methodologies. The project is funded by the Espírito Santo State Cultural Offices and by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and counts with the support of the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery.