While today’s reality is bound to four walls for most of us, digital art offers us endless ways to reimagine it, for example online or in a gallery space. How we chose to engage with digital art is the subject of Agora’s upcoming talk, in which digital artist Claudia Hart and gallerist Mila Askarova discuss their latest exhibition at London gallery Gazelli Art House, An Imaginary Ruin.

Isabella Helms  |  Ed Cristina Brooks  | 10 December 2020

Claudia Hart,  low-polygon Picasso © Courtesy of the artist.

In Hart’s latest video artwork The Ruins (2020), we float along green, CGI-generated hallways, encountering still life paintings. However, we are not physically within the gallery: We are in a virtual space created using Mozilla Hubs, a software platform and virtual space designed to help creatives collaborate. Hart has transformed this virtual space into an exhibition that questions the way art is usually experienced. It is a space in which the viewer can find digital art and classical painting motifs side-by-side. 

Claudia Hart, The Ruins (2020) excerpt in Hubs Mozilla parallel exhibition © Courtesy of the artist and biforms

This artwork is one of several in the exhibition An Imaginary Ruin, opening at Gazelli Art House’s Dover Street location on December 3. As an extension to the exhibition, Hart has created a custom-made duplicate of Gazelli’s Dover Street Gallery on Mozilla Hubs, where visitors can visit the show virtually. 

Gazelli’s enthusiasm for digital, AR and VR works fuelled the creation of its new online platform, Gazell.io in 2015, committed to the crossover between technology and art. With residencies, group and solo exhibitions, Gazell.io has proved to be a supportive platform for artists to explore their creative tech talents.

Gazell.io, Enter Through the Headset 5 exhibition, Hubs Mozilla excerpt © Courtesy of the artist.

Mila Askarova is the founder and CEO of Gazelli Art House and a champion for digital art. Hart and Askarova first worked together through Gazell.io’s artists residencies, with Hart going on to be involved with Gazell.io’s Enter Through the Headset exhibitions which saw Hart exhibit with other digital, AR and VR artists that are supported by the gallery. An Imaginary Ruin will see Hart’s work bring life and tangibility to the experience that we have through Mozilla Hubs by presenting it in a physical space.

Claudia Hart, The Ruins app © Courtesy of the artist.

Gazelli Art House’s commitment to new media art creates an interesting narrative for the future of digital art. As we explore the digital version of Hart’s An Imaginary Ruin in the bottom level of the Gazelli Art House’s Dover Street gallery, we get to experience first-hand how technology is transforming the gallery space. Through pushing the limits of how we display digital works, Askarova and Hart’s collaborative effort creates an environment that depicts a tension between traditional and contemporary ways of showcasing exhibitions. It shows us how new media art is here to challenge our usual experiences within the gallery, asking the viewer to open their minds to the crossover between art and technology. 

Here at Agora Digital Art, we are excited to explore Hart’s parallel universe both on and off the screen, so join us on 16 December to delve into the creation of the An Imaginary Ruin exhibition, with a chance to hear Hart and Askarova give us a first taste of the Hubs parallel exhibition. 

Claudia Hart, The Ruins, 3-channel version, 2020: 3 minute excerpt of 10 minutes animated loop.
© Courtesy of the artist.

About the artist

Discover Claudia Hart’s full biography, written by Euan McPherson

Register to the Agora Talk, on 16 December 2020 at 18:30 London

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