Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow is pleased to announce the launch of Garage Digital, a new experimental program and online platform, anchored 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 advanced technologies and their intersection with visual culture, new media, and artistic and research practices.
As mobile and broadband Internet have become ubiquitous, every owner of a smartphone has access to an unlimited amount of content. The traditional museum has lost its monopoly as the store of meaningful imagery. This initiative by Garage is not an Internet museum or a digital ghetto for born-digital art. Garage Digital is meant to contextualize born-digital contemporary art as the product of a new type of thinking and living.
It emerges from a reality in which it is natural to find big data, neural networks, game engines, and computer graphics; in which there is no gender binary or sense of the stability and immutability of the world. This is a world escaping its physical boundaries, on the verge of catastrophe, and developing scenarios for its own salvation.
Along with digital art, Garage Digital 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.
The online platform, live now at garage.digital, 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. 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 is like a virus infiltrating the museum’s programs. Garage Digital will soon collaborate with the exhibition and education departments and with participants in the Field Research program. It will also stage offline interventions into the museum’s public spaces.
The program of offline events, which take place in the museum and off-site, aims to develop a community of digital and new technology artists. Garage Digital also includes a grant program for artists who work with new technology, each season addressing a particular aspect of artistic practice within the digital environment.
“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,” Garage Director Anton Belov said in a statement. “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 platform is a space within the museum, with its own exhibition and education programs.”
Some early highlights available now on the platform include a four-part work produced by musician James Ferraro and artist Ezra Miller for the launch of Garage Digital. Xeres Blau immerses the viewer in a world facing an ecological crisis caused by pollution and technological overproduction.
Users can also experience 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.