By Lulu Chang
VR is going highbrow, and it’s all thanks to the Digital Museum of Digital Art. After all, what better way to enjoy these works than in their native form? In a truly immersive experience, audiences can now visit DiMoDA either in real life, where they will see a virtual reality exhibit, or they can stay at home and see the art through Mac and Windows apps. No matter which way you slice it, you’re in for a very unique artistic experience, one that “is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting Digital artworks from living New Media artists, while expanding the conscious experience of viewing Digital art in a Virtual space.”
Currently on display at TRANSFER Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, DiMoDA uses Oculus Rifts to bring its displays to life. The museum concept, created in 2013 by Alfredo Salazar-Caro and William James Richard Robertson, is currently introducing pieces by Claudia Hart, Tim Berresheim Jacolby Satterwhite, Salvador Loza, and Gibrann Morgado.
In an interview with The Creators Project, Salazar-Caro noted that the purpose of his innovative museum is to provide “new media artists [or] digital artists a virtual exhibition space/playground for limitless experimentation.” Despite the relative newness of virtual reality, Salazar-Caro said, “We want to make VR accessible to any artist that has the vision for it.”
While most galleries and museums are rooted in tradition and a certain sense of sterility, the creative minds behind DiMoDA wanted to expand the horizons of art. “First and foremost, we want to go as far away as possible from the white-wall model,” Salazar-Caro said. “We always have discussions about these VR galleries, that just put you inside of something that you could see practically anywhere else, they “hang” a JPEG on the wall and think they are revolutionizing the world. We really want to take advantage of the power of VR and we hope that as the technology becomes more powerful, we’ll be able to push those boundaries even further.”
But different and daring doesn’t give Robertson and Salazar-Caro a pass on quality. “One often problematic symptom of net.art and a lot of new media is that it’s produced fast and it’s outputted fast to keep up with an ever-hungry internet,” Salazar-Caro pointed out. “We want to exhibit only twice a year, and only under five artists each time, in order to assure that we create high quality and masterful experiences that can stand on against any work of art of any discipline.”