15 leading UK arts Institutions to digitally revive landmark exhibitions for a new virtual arts ecosystem - FAD Magazine

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15 leading UK arts Institutions to digitally revive landmark exhibitions for a new virtual arts ecosystem

theVOV’s virtual presentation of Shannon Bono’s Untitled (Mangbetu) and Sian Fan’s Seeping Out Skybox, as part of Sarabande’s digital exhibition ‘Corpus Mentis’, curated by Hikari Yokoyama and Trino Verkade (2021) 

Outset Contemporary Art Fund and art-science collective Visualogical have partnered to launch theVOV, a new virtual arts ecosystem launching on Monday 19th April 2021 with an exciting 10-week programme of exhibitions and live events.

For its inaugural season, 15 of the UK’s leading museums and galleries – including  Hayward Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Whitworth, Tate, Spike Island, South London Gallery, Turner Contemporary and Sarabande – are joining forces on one centralised open-access virtual destination in an unprecedented act of solitary. Season One of theVOV will be available on Vortic Art (an extended reality (XR) platform).

  • Season One’s inspiring programme of exhibitions includesthe return of Chris Burden’s iconic 14 Magnolia Doubles to South London Gallery after 15 years; a virtual rehanging of Andreas Gursky’s first major UK retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in 2018; Yinka Shonibare CBE RA’s open air installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2013; Lisa Brice’s 2018 Art Now exhibition at Tate Britain; a group show of female artists curated by Hikari Yokoyama with Sarabande; and the haunting assemblage of Ibrahim Mahama’s Parliament of Ghost at The Whitworth for Manchester International Festival in 2019.

“In these uncertain times, it is notable that the arts have proven more supportive, generous, and open across borders than almost any other sector. We have seen artists and institutions make content freely available in unprecedented ways. As we always do, Outset observed and listened to what we identified as the most pressing need of our beloved creative sector, and then we sought partners to help us respond. With the aim of echoing and amplifying their spirit of generosity, we joined forces with Visualogical. Our goal at this time is to launch a long overdue micro-philanthropic model, by bringing together 15 leading UK arts organisations, using the rich experience of the latest XR technology, and achieving unprecedented global reach. Join us on our journey towards a stronger and more financially independent creative sector that thanks to you will be more resilient than ever. Every single contribution counts, and we count on everyone to join us in helping our creatives to thrive and continue giving us all the most human of all gifts.”

Candida Gertler OBE and Nicolette Cavaleros, Co-Directors, Outset Contemporary Art Fund,
  • A dynamic collateral programme of live, public events will run throughout the season, inviting users to donate. From Lunchtime Tours and panel discussions with institution directors taking place inside the virtual galleries themselves through an innovative social interface co-designed by Visualogical, in collaboration with Vortic, especially for theVOV, to intimate and informal Evening Events with artists hosting interactive workshops, such as collage making, spoken word, DJ sets, and the first ever life-drawing class of a digital avatar.
  • theVOV has worked closely with each institution to create a bespoke virtual gallery for the exhibitions, with some institutions creating exact replicas of their physical gallery to others creating fantastical otherworldly spaces that couldn’t possibly exist in the physical realm. theVOV’s vision is for these virtual spaces to become digital extensions of the physical institutions, for them to curate and programme time and time again, whilst offering new opportunities to XR artists.
  • theVOV unlocks new streams of income for public arts organisations, helping them navigate the new challenge of monetising digital content. Season One debuts a pioneering micro-philanthropic model, inviting users to donate to support the arts, with funds raised being distributed equally between the participating institutions, reinforcing the ethos of unity.
  • Launching in the run up to arts institutions reopening, theVOV embraces the new ‘Phygital’ era, where the physical and digital realms coexist symbiotically side-by-side, making the arts more accessible globally than ever.

For information about theVOV and Season One visit: thevov.art/

Outset Contemporary Art Fund

Established in 2003, Outset Contemporary Art Fund is the leading international, independent charity supporting innovative art projects that engage the widest possible audiences. With a presence in nine countries, the charity has raised over £13 million worldwide in support of the creative ecosystem. Outset is recognised for creating influential models of responsive arts philanthropy with its innovative public-private schemes and initiatives. Practising catalytic philanthropy means not only offering crucial funding support but also activating networks and initiating new relationships and partnerships. Transformative funding models that Outset has established include:

  • the Outset Frieze Tate Fund, inviting international curators to join the Tate in selecting and acquiring 100 works of art over 10 years from Frieze for the Tate Collection; 
  • Studiomakers, developing solutions that secure truly-affordable spaces for creative production and cultural consumption, including co-founding The Creative Land Trust with the Mayor of London, Arts Council England and Bloomberg Philanthropies, a new charity purchasing property to be used as artist studios in perpetuity;
  • the Outset Partners, a dynamic group of international patrons who work together to meet the evolving needs of the global cultural sector, awarding impactful grants through an iterative and consensus-driven decision-making process. The Outset Partners fund is the largest private grants programme awarded by a collective of individuals in the UK. 

The charity was the first to introduce a pioneering paradigm of cross-institution collective patronage to fund challenging artistic projects in the UK, and is now proud to operate on a global scale. Outset is powered by inspiration, driven by expertise, renowned for its engagement, and focused on effective energy and ideas, with a commitment to being there at the outset of impactful change.


Visualogical is a female-founded art-science collective, committed to creating stimulating systems of social investigation, introspection and intervention. As practitioners of Techno-shamanism – the cultural movement that seeks to bring the human experience to the often void digital realm – Visualogical combines futuristic technologies with ancient techniques, in the hopes of improving digital hygiene and cyber spirituality online.  Co-founders Natasha Hersham and Victoria Westerman joined forces from opposite sides of the art-science spectrum, after graduating from Imperial College London and Central Saint Martins, respectively. Visualogical has since created interdisciplinary exhibitions and experiences at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Tate, La Biennale di Venezia, CERN, Museum of the Home, University of Cambridge, and beyond. @visualogical


Vortic’s mission is to support galleries and institutions with the highest quality digital experiences for their collectors and audiences, harnessing cutting edge technology to complement and strengthen the physical experience of viewing art. The leading virtual and augmented reality platform for the art world, Vortic hosts publicly accessible virtual exhibitions, as well as private views, live and on-demand talks and tours, and art fair booths on Vortic’s apps and web platform. Using a proprietary 3-D rendering engine in tandem with high-resolution imaging and the latest 3-D scanning technology galleries are able to stage exhibitions in a precise replica of their gallery space or in a choice of Vortic gallery spaces. Galleries and institutions are able to host live and pre-recorded talks within their exhibition spaces on Vortic, ranging from one-to-one private tours, to live 1,000 attendee artist or curator talks, offering collectors and art lovers the chance to gain further insight into artworks and exhibitions on the platform. Collectors can also use the Vortic Collect mobile app to view how artworks would look in-situ and to scale in their homes using augmented reality (AR), and enquire about them using the live chat function. Vortic is available to view online at vortic.art, or to download for mobile and tablet devices from the App Store now. Vortic VR will launch in 2021 on Oculus Quest.



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