Day One: October 12, 2018

First Session: Asking The Right Questions

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Before we all start engaging with the process of finding the right answers, let’s first pose the right questions! As we get into this two-day journey, we want to make things welcoming, seamless, informative, and relevant. With a clear process for seeking answers, we begin the first session with systemic and broad conceptual questions about the role of digital technologies in art and public art galleries. These will be highlighted in an opening address delivered by Mohammad Salemy and Zainub Verjee. Ensuring our approach is inclusive, equitable and fair, we will seek out and collate questions from the attendees/participants. Anishinabe intermedia artist Scott Benesiinaabandan, will discuss his practice and his work Physic Mysteries, Blood Memories in the RMG exhibition Inaabawin. This session will end with a responsive keynote delivered by Niranjan Rajah who will frame the dominant themes emerging out of the previous presentations and the collated questions from the participants. These questions will be referred to throughout the two-day deliberations and will be reflected upon to forge a collective path forward.

Together, We’ll Learn How To:

  • Understand the interrelationship between digital technologies and art, and its role and impact on art institutions
  • Rethink your organization’s planning, processes, roles, and workflows to build an infrastructure responsive for digital technologies
  • Map out the relevant options for the future trajectory of your organization and individual practices
  • Have the difficult conversations needed to convince your organization to take the impact of digital technologies seriously
  • Recognize biases and assumptions in engaging with digital technologies in art in your organization

Second Session: State of the Field

1:45 PM – 3:20 PM

Having posed the questions and with a ready frame to look at the issues, this second session will offer first hand experience of the current practices of the artists who work at the intersection between art, science, and technology.

Caroline Langill will offer a perspective between old and new technologies and how it impacts art making, as well its exhibition and archiving. Niranjan Rajah, Faisal Anwar, Steve Daniels, and Jessica Thompson will present their own work and describe the issues in art making and its exhibition challenges and how they are successful in engaging audiences.

This session will be moderated by Nell Tenhaaf, one of the early practitioners of art making with digital media.

In the second part of this session, Director Digital Strategy Fund, Sylvie Gilbert will present and discuss the state of funding.

Together, We’ll Learn How To:

  • Understand the interrelationship between digital technologies and art, and its role and impact on art institutions
  • Know the histories of intersection between art, science, and technology
  • Understand the future of art making and new practices
  • Know what the imperatives of ephemeral technologies are and its impact on artmaking
  • Understand from the artist’s experience in their art making and its showcasing
  • Engage with Public Art Galleries for exhibiting artworks that use technologies
  • Identify the different practices in art making using digital technologies
  • Identify the challenges and demands in exhibiting and collecting digital art 

Third Session: Alison Humphrey Presentation and Tour

3:50 PM – 4:15 PM

Alison Humphrey speaks to her practice and work Shadowpox in the RMG exhibition Public Notice.

Following the Second session the participants will experience an artwork that is embedded in digital technologies and its associated requirements. This session will allow participants to interact with the artist and the gallery staff to understand the broader issues that are under discussion in the symposium.

Together, We’ll Learn How To:

  • Curate artwork that is embedded in digital technologies
  • Understand artist’s experience in the making of digital artwork and its showcasing
  • Develop audience engagement strategies

Day Two: October 13, 2018

Fourth Session: Gallery Making / Re-Making

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

How are Public Art Galleries responding to the artists and art works that are embedded in digital ecosystems? Following the focus on the art and impact of digital technologies on art making, this session throws light on the Gallery and highlights its perspective in engaging with the issues that are under discussion.

This session focuses on how different Public Art Galleries have undertaken respective strategies to respond to the impact of digital technology as its core business.

Three case studies will provide a lens on how a public art gallery has responded to the challenges of digital technologies and how they impact their core business. Each of these case studies are presented by accomplished leaders in the field and their expertise in leading these successful changes will be a significant opportunity for participants to learn about how Public Art Galleries are affecting the relevant change.

More importantly, there will be ample opportunity for the participants to engage with the presenters of these case studies through a dedicated and facilitated Q&A session.

The three Case Studies of Art Galleries Response to the Digital Ecosystem are:

  1. Rozemin Keshvani, Whitechapel Gallery, UK
  2. Lianne Davison on Surrey Art Gallery
  3. New Media Gallery Co-Directors & Co-Curators, Gordon Duggan and Sarah Joyce

Together, We’ll Learn How To:

  • Identify the particular challenges for Public Art Galleries in the new digital ecosystem
  • Understand from the changemakers how to manage the change in meeting these new challenges of the digital ecosystem
  • Define alignment between the operational and curatorial aspects of the art gallery
  • Fund such key changes in a technologically intensive process
  • Understand the big Do’s and Don’ts of these changes
  • Engage with your Governing bodies, your funders, and your stakeholders about the need to make the required changes to adapt to the digital ecosystem
  • Engage with ephemeral artworks and fast changing digital technologies, avoiding obsolete options
  • Ask questions that will improve your process and manage risks

Fifth Session: Exhibition Making / Re-Making

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

This session will lay a focus on the third element that of Exhibition Making in continuing our discussions.

The fifth session will lead the discussion on the emergence of sites of Exhibition Making – the interfaces and materials. In specific it will explore the relationship between Digital Technology & the Art Gallery: Exhibition, Collection, Audience. It will consider how digital artworks can reflect various themes such as the gender-technology debate; ephemeral art; modes of productions and its implication for collection and art historical discourse, DIY culture and new tools, and the idea of Exhibition Making and its various components. The discussion will be in panel format that will explore and discuss prospective developments and applications of Digital Technology in Audience Engagement, Immersive Exhibitions, Collection of Ephemeral Artworks, Accessibility, etc. The panel is led by one of the pioneering Media Art Curators and Scholars, Jean Gagnon who will speak from his rich experience on the issues of Media Arts, its development and its archiving; Srinivas Krishna will discuss the case of use of technologies such as Augmented Reality and its implications for Audiences and artists; Zach Pearl will address the case of online exhibitions; David Bobier founder of the VibraFusionLab will share his experience of enhancing the sensory experiences of those with sensory loss, mental illness, or individuals with disabilities.

Together, We’ll Learn How To:

  • Know what the peculiar challenges for Public Art Galleries are in the new digital ecosystem
  • Know the implications of technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for the artists, art galleries, and audiences
  • Discuss the issues pertaining to the collection of artworks that are embedded in digital technologies
  • Create inclusive design through digital technologies in the practice of media art
  • Understand the role of an online gallery compared with a physical gallery
  • Speak about the various components that the challenge of digital technologies pose for Art Galleries, as well other stakeholders

Sixth Session: Learning and Reflections

3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

In this concluding session, we revisit the set of questions which we started with and discuss how they have been addressed. In addition, we will confirm how we might re-calibrate our responses to the learnings from the symposium.

Facilitated by Zainub Verjee and Niranjan Rajah, this session will bring together the thematic questions and nut-and-bolts issues allowing participants a distinct take away to what is meaningful and relevant to their respective institutions and individual practices

Together, We’ll Learn How To:

  • Define the nut-and-bolt issues for Public Art Galleries in the new digital ecosystem
  • Engage with the challenges of the digital technologies and art
  • Give voice to these issues in engaging with Governing bodies, Management, and Stakeholders
  • Develop new plans and strategies to address art making, exhibition, archiving, collection issues in a Public Art Gallery in a digital ecosystem
  • Learn techniques for uncovering assumptions, vetting exhibition design, curation and collection decisions against a broader range of stakeholders and situations
  • Reconfirm and Reassess questions fielded on the first day of the symposium