Media in museums has been commonplace since its creation. Paintings, photographs, and sculptures cover the floors and walls of many museums. However, in recent years the media creation capabilities of man have changed dramatically. Rather than simply producing silent still images, the creation of video capture and display technology has seen the development and implementation of moving pictures in museums. Indeed, in many modern museums, you are bound to find at least one piece that involves or consists of some form of video. Video allows one to provide artistic creativity in ways that still images never could and can bring life to a variety of subjects. Though video can be seen in museums across the world, other media production capabilities are allowing for an even more immersive, intriguing, and provocative experience comprised entirely of media and enjoyed in one’s own home. DiMoDA or the Digital Museum of Digital Art is a fascinating Virtual reality experience currently available for free in light of the recent Covid-19 Pandemic. The Experience allows the user to interact with fully accessible 3D worlds handcrafted by the artists. Each permutation of DiMoDA, of which there are currently three, is curated by distinct individuals. A variety of digital artists provide experiences.

Through the use of virtual reality, the artists of the DiMoDA can submerge their patrons into incredibly surreal landscapes in which what you see can be anything the artist can imagine. The platform itself is revolutionary and can deinstitutionalize the way that art is created, displayed, and taken in by an audience. VR, due to the fact that the equipment for its use is literally strapped to your face, demands your complete attention. This, combined with the use of a “Lobby” (a kind of hub world from which each of the exhibits can be reached), can almost make you forget that you are merely in your living room.

The art in these digital exhibits is often bizarre. Since one can conjure basically anything through the use of virtual design, the artists often do. Claudia Harts’ exhibit, After The Party, is probably my favorite of the ones I have seen. Models of trees and flowers covered in what I would consider very tacky, psychedelic textures in rooms painted with the same. The artificial foliage grows and withers with time and creates a very weird and haunting display. The walls add to this effect with their lightly reflective and embossed surface.

A still taken from "After the Party"
A still taken from “After the Party”.

The upkeep for these kinds of exhibits is minimal. Since they exist as a functioning application and are constantly available from the DiMoDA website, they can exist in an infinite number of places at once from each of which they can be accessed. Though the question of the VR technology with which it is experienced is another question. As technology moves forward, support for devices can change. Someday, the devices used to participate in these exhibits may no longer exist. However, since they are born digital and experienced entirely digitally, it makes perfect sense to me that these experiences can either be transferred to or recreated on future technology.

One Thought to “Entirely Digital Media”

  1. Angela Linn

    Thanks for sharing this very cool resource – I’ll have to check this out. There are a lot of different questions that come to mind, about the nature of museums and whether they can exist in a purely virtual space, as well as the potential impact on physical museum spaces. I wonder how the digital museums will fare once we’re all able to get back to museums in person.

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