EAST LANSING, MI.-
The Virtual Broad Art Museum, a multi-user online environment developed in anticipation of the fall 2012 opening of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (Broad/MSU), launched today. Created by internationally recognized intermedia artists John Fillwalk and Adam Brown, the virtual space mirrors the architecture of the Zaha Hadid-designed museum, and provides an innovative and globally accessible venue for the presentation of cutting-edge interactive digital artworks. Four original works by Fillwalk, which make use of the Virtual Museums capacity to facilitate interaction between users and with the environment itself, have been created for the project launch. As the virtual world evolves, the work of other artists will also be integrated into the space.
Engaging visitors with innovators at the leading edge of art and technology, both here at MSU and around the globe, is key to the Broad Art Museums mission, said founding director Michael Rush. With the Virtual Broad Art Museum, we have an opportunity to embrace the tremendous creative and connective possibilities that exist in the digital world.
Rush commissioned John Fillwalk and Adam Brown to create the Virtual Broad Art Museum project in advance of the opening of the Broad/MSU, the new international contemporary art museum at Michigan State University. Fillwalk works in interactive installation, virtual reality and hybrid art environments, and directs Ball State Universitys Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts, which explores the intersections of art, science and technology. Brown is an Associate Professor of Art at Michigan State University, where he also directs the new Electronic Art & Intermedia program and its related research facility, the Form from Thought Laboratory.
The Virtual Broad Art Museum is accessible to the public through the museums website, at http://broadmuseum.msu.edu/VBAM
. Users begin by choosing one of the featured works to experience. After entering the virtual museum, users select an avatar and move through the space with either a keyboard or a mouse, as they would navigate a virtual gaming environment. Visitors have the option to interact with other users with a chat feature, and the space also facilitates virtual lectures and performances, with up to 100 visitors from anywhere in the world.
The following works by John Fillwalk are currently featured in the digital museum environment:
In this interactive digital installation, visitors shape the construction of a sculptural and sonic composition as they move through the virtual museum. The work progresses to construct in relation to the museum itself, eventually integrating into structural support for the building and becoming one with the virtual museum environment. When multiple users are in the environment, their avatars interact with one another to create a collaborative work.
Flickr Gettr connects the social image web service Flickr to the virtual museum environment, allowing visitors to curate a spatial and dynamic cloud of imagery by entering a search term of their choice, which will bring related images from Flickr into the museum space.
An immersive landscape simulation, Survey uses real time weather data from the physical location of the Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, Michigan. Representations of surveyor's tape, flags, and clouds are superimposed onto the virtual landscape in accordance with the real-life data, which informs wind speed and direction, time of day, and cloud density in the digital environment.
Participants in con|FLUENCE may create pathways based on reactions to both social and spatial relationships. There is a virtual response and persistence to interactions, as the routes are drawn and sculpted in the three-dimensional environment, forming nodes that are created via visitors proximity.