Art Experiment gives a new meaning to a day at the museum allowing visitors of all ages to experience culture in new ways.
Establishing new strategies in Russia for engaging with experimental art practices, each winter Garage Museum of Contemporary Art transforms its galleries into a laboratory for participation. Since it launched in 2010, Art Experiment—the flagship program of Garage Education—has attracted over 25,000 students, parents, local residents, and Moscow visitors, making it the largest socially engaged art initiative in the country.
With a different theme each year, Art Experiment is structured through three daily sessions during which visitors of all ages are invited to have hands-on experiences with artists, as well as innovating creative collaborations between peers. In response to demand, in 2013 the initiative expanded from a two-day, to a three-week exhibition and Garage piloted Russia’s first training sessions for mediators, facilitating closer interaction between staff and broad publics to better understand visitor’s interests. Now, each morning session is dedicated to children with special needs, groups from Moscow orphanages, and students, while evening events include professional concerts and art-inspired holiday parties, welcoming new audiences and Garage regulars alike.
Opening on December 22, the fifth annual Art Experiment is titled 32 questions from Cage. Using the queries from his 1958 lecture “Composition as Process” as a provocation, the exhibition highlights the spontaneity of music and the dialogues it gives rise to. Celebrating Cage’s interests in popularizing contemporary music, Water Walk—a composition he wrote for television and first broadcast in 1960 on “I’ve got a Secret”—will be staged in Moscow for the first time, performed by prodigy musician and composer Dmitry Vlasik, as well as music school pupils he has trained. New commissions include the Institution of Unstable Thoughts, founded in 1996 in Ukraine, who have developed a site-specific installation exploring the audiovisual aspect of music, as well as Playtronica, a Moscow-based collective, who will create an installation to test melody on a tightrope, as well as holding workshops on transforming any object into a musical instrument. Other artists also include Alexander Hnilitsky, SlackLabs studio, ::vtol::, Hello Computer, Baschet Soundsculpture Workshop, The Moscow Chamber Orchestra, MUSICA VIVA, and Moscow City Municipal music schools under the Moscow Department of Culture’s Office of Educational Programs support.
Reflecting the experimentation that underpins the entire project, this year Garage has also worked with recent architecture graduate Artem Slizunov who won a contest to design the Art Experiment experience. This follows a tradition the Museum established in 2012 to support the development of young architects in Moscow through stipends and competitive projects, including Garage’s annual summer pavilion.
Featuring: The Institution of Unstable Thoughts, Alexander Hnilitsky, Playtronica, SlackLabs studio, ::vtol::, Dmitry Vlasik, interaction design studio Hello Computer, Baschet Soundsculpture Workshop from the University of Barcelona coordinated by Marti Ruids, The Moscow Chamber Orchestra MUSICA VIVA directed by Alexander Rudin, as well as children's orchestras and music schools under the Moscow Department of Culture's Office of Educational Programs.