Karen Levy is co-owner of the DSLcollection – a Chinese contemporary art collection that is perfectly poised for the age of digital recombination. Paris-based collectors Sylvain and Dominique Levy founded the collection in 2005 and they were later joined in the adventure by their daughter Karen. Even in the New Media art economy, collectors who thrive online are a rare breed. However, the Levys have built their collection from the beginning as an online shared generative knowledge system in which audiences are encouraged to keep expanding the stories attached to the objects. They seemed to have figured out the apparent conflict between owning and sharing. As Sylvain has put it: “We are first a collection of ideas, and second a collection of objects.”
The Levys also seem to have mastered what most museums are struggling with these days: how to design online experiences around art to generate increasingly more intense levels of engagement, especially for a younger audience. This is one of our main areas of interest at Agora, so we invited Karen Levy to give our next talk at which she will expand on this subject in the context of the DSLcollection’s most recent collaborations: the indie video game The Forgetter (created by game designers Alan Kwan and Yang Jing) and the DSL VR Art Village developed on VRChat, a new social virtual reality platform. Both projects make a strong case that collections require dynamic, open, and compelling discourse and reinterpretation to stay alive, relevant and vibrant.