Are you ready to explore the potential of virtual worlds and enter into the world of digital art?
With its latest programme, Open Systems (OS), the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) has you covered. This fantastic project examines the ever-changing nature of technology and its impact on art and exhibition-making.
OS is Southeast Asia’s first of its type, presenting online exhibits, interventions, and virtual programmes that leverage the screen, browser, and platform as focal points for artistic expression and research.
Eugene Tan, Director of SAM, said that the contemporary art museum’s mission is to lead conversations about art today and how it can push the boundaries of what contemporary art can encompass.
“As SAM’s first dedicated initiative exploring technology and virtual spaces as sites for exhibition and art production, OS seeks to present innovative, immersive, and interactive artist projects that reimagine the possibilities for art experiences in the digital sphere and offer critical reflections on the wider landscape of digital culture. Through this, we hope to inspire renewed perspectives and foster dialogue on the future of art and newfound communities in contemporary virtual terrains,” he said.
So, what exactly is the initial iteration of this fascinating initiative? Open Systems 1_Open Worlds (OS1) is a virtual exhibition that investigates the relationship between real and virtual worlds through video games and digital culture.
From May 4 to August 10, 2023, you can access Open Systems and interact with 18 artworks from artists and thinkers hailing from 14 different countries. These works reimagine digital realms and the limitations of virtual environments through film, music videos, video essays, and interactive computer games that expose how patterns of economic and social inequities of lived experience may also be observed in virtual spaces.
OS1 delves into topics of privatisation, artificial scarcity, and inequality that exist in both the physical and digital spheres. The exhibition explores how games and virtual worlds might be used to practise alternative and creative modalities of social, political, and geographical organisation. It takes an analytical approach to ‘Open World’ gaming, focusing on the seeming autonomy that these free-roaming settings provide to users.
Curator of OS, Duncan Bass, said “The selection of artists and works for OS1 is guided by an interest in expanding conventional expectations of digital exhibitions and popular conversation surrounding the “metaverse” highlighting virtual spaces as potent sites to better understand pertinent issues of today across geographical and sociological boundaries. In many ways, video games combine and extend tendencies that defined contemporary art for the past several decades, including moving images and relational art forms. In exploring video games as a site of creation and innovation, OS1 hopes to invite audiences to reflect on our positions as consumers of popular digital culture and media that permeate our everyday lives.”
Reimagine the metaverse and find art in unexpected digital spaces with Open Systems.
Cover image and press release supplied by Singapore Art Museum.