Virtual Art Worlds

From the Venice Biennale to Instagram face filters and artist-run projects, Dovetail recommends ways to go beyond the viewing room

For most of this year, as we adapted to being at home, the art world has been online. Our inboxes filled with numerous newsletters; it was difficult to keep up with Instagram Live events; and galleries and art fairs released viewing room after viewing room. Screen fatigue is real! So when simply scrolling through your screen feels like an art experience half-life, consider spending some time in these immersive and participatory online art experiences.

Hito Steyerl: Virtual Leonardo’s Submarine at Esther Schipper

Hito Steyerl’s first solo project with Esther Schipper (pictured above) is also the first virtual exhibition organized by the gallery, and is organized in collaboration with Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Leonardo’s Submarine was originally conceived as a video environment for the 58th Venice Biennale, and has been completed reworked as a Virtual Reality (VR) experience in which three virtual curved screens surround the viewer. The work draws parallels between the 16th century sketches of Leonardo da Vinci’s primitive submarine, and Leonardo S.p.A., an Italian global high-tech company that is a key player in aerospace, defense and security.

View here through January 9, 2021.

Huntrezz Janos face filter from Infilteriterations, Transfer Gallery.

Huntrezz Janos’ Infilteriterations at Transfer Gallery

Infilteriterations is a solo exhibition from LA-based artist Huntrezz Janos in the form of two projects developed this year. Through the medium of Instagram, Huntrezz presents self-published face filters, which the gallery describes as “playful musings on identity and isolation,” but pack an electric intensity. Additionally, protest videos are created from the artists’ first-hand experiences on the streets of Los Angeles during the social justice uprising of 2020.

View here.

[To access the face filters from your browser, go to “QR Code” in your Instagram app’s menu, and then select “Scan QR Code” at the bottom.]

Detail of video streaming on The Wrong TV by Babak Ahteshamipour

The Wrong TV

Conceived in 2o13 as a collaborative effort to create and promote digital art and culture, The Wrong TV is shaped as a global art biennale, open to participation, happening both online and offline. The website offers numerous channels, like a TV, streaming video, music, and digital art, including a “Big Screen” on the landing page which directs to additional projects and immersive downloads. 

View here.

Ono City, a Minecraft city created over 8 years by Gusono

Ono City by Gusono

Ono City is a project eight years in the making by Gusono, who through the medium of Minecraft has built an architecture lover’s dream city. If you miss being able to wander through cities in person, this is a meditative and visually stunning way to experience a place like no other.

View here, where you can also download the Minecraft version and explore in the game.

Through a Fluid Mosaic, curated by Maica Gugolati, on Art Curator Grid

Art Curator Grid online exhibitions

Art Curator Grid creates a space for curators to present their work, collaborate with their peers, and explore new ideas centered around their practice, and is also a centralized resource for the larger community of artists, art enthusiasts, institutions, and spaces to discover the work of contemporary art curators around the world. Recently the platform has emphasized its online exhibitions features, which take a design and experience-centered approach to viewing exhibitions virtually.

View here.

Wretched Light Industry installation view.

Opening soon: Wretched Light Industry at Serving the People

Described by its organizers Benjamin Hall and Jay Darlington as the “spiritual successor” to an earlier initiative, the DS2020 Simulator, which built a game-like viewing experience for Glasgow School of Art students who could not display their work in a physical space this past spring due to the pandemic, Wretched Light Industry takes a curated approach to emphasizing emerging digital artists in the UK through the work of 34 participants within a digital environment.

Opens this December via Serving the People.


Kat Mustatea: Voidopolis

Voidopolis is a narrative that New York-based artist, playwright and technologist Kat Mustatea has developed in a chronicle of the city during the pandemic. Evoking the classic tale of Dante’s Inferno through a synthetic language devoid of the letter “E,” a narrative accompanies manipulated stock imagery of people–or lack thereof–in New York City. The project will be deleted at the end of the year. Read more about Kat Mustatea’s virtual performance, utilizing Instagram as a stage, in our interview here.

View here.

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