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Garage Museum of Contemporary Art launches the experimental program Garage Digital

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is launching Garage Digital, a new experimental program and online platform. The launch will be accompanied by a grant competition for artists who work with digital technology.

Bringing together artists, scientists, programmers, and art historians, Garage Digital aims to explore and support the new languages of visual culture that are emerging under the influence of advanced technologies and new media on everyday life and on artistic and research practices.

Today, when mobile and broadband Internet have become familiar elements of urban life just like electricity and water supply, the traditional museum has lost its monopoly as a store of meaningful imagery. Every owner of a smartphone connected to the Internet can access an unlimited amount of content. Big data analysis organizes web searching and creates a feeling of total availability and interconnection, while algorithms help to solve complex tasks. It has become possible to approach the world as a full-fledged source of visuality, flowing from the real environment to the screens of digital devices. This means that today reality develops in close proximity to and under the influence of the digital realm, sometimes almost completely merging with it. Akin to scrolling through a news feed, the new form of perceiving information blurs the boundaries of the real and the virtual, reforms our sense of space and time, and thus questions the goals and values of the traditional museum.

Garage Digital accumulates the experience of studying contemporary born-digital art as the product of a new type of thinking and living through everyday reality. Along with digital art proper, the program focuses on the latest technological advancements—code, neural networks, big data analysis, game engines and computer graphics, 3D printing, and other new production modes—that can operate simultaneously as the artwork’s material, medium, and means of production.

Anton Belov: «The Garage Digital team, together with artists and experts, is redefining the role of cultural institutions and means of creating and exhibiting works of art. Launched in 2019, this program is focused on digital reality, but that does not mean we are choosing between online and offline presence. For Garage they are of equal importance. In essence, the Garage Digital platfom is a space within the Museum, with its own exhibition and education programs».

The online platform features artworks and research projects created for Garage Digital, multimedia material on digital art and culture, information on grants and a schedule of offline events. Born-digital artworks and research projects created in collaboration with or supported by Garage are published in Projects and integrated into a data feed interface, replicating the continuous flow of visual images and ideas produced by contemporary reality.

One of the key goals of the program is to systematize knowledge on digital art and technogenic reality. The platform offers access to documentary videos and theoretical research on themes covered by the program, such as Game Studies, which focuses on the study of video games and computer simulations as an artistic medium.

Garage Digital’s program of offline events, which take place in the Museum as well as off-site, aims to develop a community of digital and new technology artists, allow for the exchange of experience, and support professional networks. Garage Digital also includes a grant program for artists who work with new technology, with each season addressing a particular aspect of artistic practice within the digital environment.

Garage Digital is like a virus infiltrating the Museum’s programs. It implies collaboration with the exhibition and education departments and participants in the Field Research program, as well as offline interventions into the Museum’s public spaces. By its launch, the platform will feature new projects and digital artworks created for the exhibition The Coming World.

James Ferraro and Ezra Miller, Xerces Blau

This four-part work produced by musician James Ferraro and artist Ezra Miller for the launch of Garage Digital immerses the viewer in a world facing an ecological crisis caused by pollution and technological overproduction.

Posthuman Studies Lab, Russian Ferations

An interactive map of creatures and objects, the heirs of Soviet culture and industry who now live autonomously on the periphery of human civilization.

Sascha Pohflepp with Matthew Lutz and Alessia Nigretti, Those Who

An online version of Sascha Pohflepp’s multimedia installation produced with the use of AI and based on his research at the Darwin Museum in Moscow.

Gints Gabrāns, FOOOD 2050

This app introduces users to an enzyme that allows humans to digest cellulose: its use could help reduce the volume of food production and food waste and avert the threat of hunger caused by overpopulation.

Garage Digital workgroup:

Katya Inozemsteva, Senior Сurator, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Nikita Nechaev, Garage Digital research curator
Ekaterina Valetova, Garage Digital project manager
Anastasia Chebotareva, Garage Digital research and project manager

Game Studies partner: Game Insight, a leading developer of mobile games

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