THE VIRTUAL ONLINE MUSEUM OF AR T – VOMA – IS NOT JUST A FAD FOR THE AGE OF LOCKDOWN, BUT A PLACE TO FIND THE BEST IN FINE AR T FOREVERMORE. BUT WHA T IS IT THAT MAKES IT SO UNIQUE? OUR CUL TURE TEAM FINDS OUT…
After hearing about VOMA, ‘the world’s first virtual museum’, there was a little
scepticism. Weren’t there dozens of virtual exhibitions already online? In short, no. Unless you consider a grainy Google Maps walk-through a truly ‘museum worthy’cultural experience.
Opening next month, VOMA (the Virtual Online Museum of Art) will present exquisitely curated exhibitions to feature seminal works on loan from major institutions around the world, alongside those by our most celebrated contemporary artists. To be fair, we don’t yet know exactly which works will be on display, but it’s an impressive space to say the least, even without the art yet installed.
While other galleries are developing virtual spaces to show their own artists’ works, VOMA is the first truly digital museum – not simply a known establishment presenting known content, but a global institutional project showing the best contemporary art together withhistorically significant pieces. Constructed from scratch, from its earliest pixelated foundations, VOMA was conceived by artist Stuart Semple, who has been working with a global team of architects, CGI designers, gaming experts and curators to give life to the vision.
“It feels very unique in as much as the focus is audience-led, which means the experience of visiting is unlike other experiences I’ve seen. There are some wonderful museums making their collections available to see, and some digitizing their spaces and photographing them in 3D, but this isn’t about mapping the physical world and bringing it online – this is about building a new online world specifically for the art. It’s not about pictures on screens; it’s about a really immersive interaction.”
Curator and contemporary art specialist Lee Cavaliere takes up the post as VOMA Director ahead of the inaugural exhibition and will be continuing to curate and commission new work. “VOMA is a new platform to hear the stories and histories of artists from across the world. Without the limitations of a physical location, access to a museum is possible to anyone with an internet connection.
We want VOMA to be active, to speak to the present as well as art history, and to be at the centre of discussions throughout the community. Key to this is the commission of new works, and we’re in talks with artists and groups about sculptural installations, interactive performance pieces and more. It’s a new world, and artists are best placed to take full advantage of it.”