I had the privilege to visit the Factum Arte production facility in Madrid last week. The huge industrial space that spans a full city block allows for artists and arts institutions to explore the potential for digital technology to produce high quality replicas of great art and create new works of art. According to founder Adam Lowe, the objective of Factum Arte is the use technology to conserve and preserve, not replace. The range of projects that Factum Arte takes on are endless because they can invent (by rigging together cameras, lights and frames) a machine to tackle any digitization challenge presented.
I was most impressed with a piece Factum Arte produced for Marina Abramovic’s Five Stages of Maya Dance. This piece is not new — it was made in 2013 — but remains a very intriguing use of 3D printing. Some photos and video from me — the website has many more. A scan of Abramovic’s head was made and printed a relief in alabaster. The effect is that from far away the work looks like a series of photographs, but as you move closer you see it is actually an alabaster block with a cut outs of Abramovic’s facial expressions.
What is wonderful about the Factum Arte space is that it brings together artists, craftsmen and technologists in a space for explorations and innovation. It is not an assembly line-type manufacturing centre, nor a lab. It is a modern day renaissance workshop.
It was an honour to be asked by the British Council’s Director of Arts in China, Rehana Mughal to participate in the discussion about the future of museums on IMD. I was joined by Esme Ward, Director of Manchester Museums and Helen Jones of the Science Museum Group. The event was broadcast by Sina Weibo in China. Clip below.
International Museums Day is on 18 May 2020 and in celebration of the theme equality and diversity, I curated an online exhibition on the topic – Diversity, Inclusion and Innovation – for ArtUK’s new Curations platform. A selection of works from the exhibition below. ICOM UK is hosting a series of activities in partnership with British Council which can be found here.
As a black artist of Ghanian descent, Yiadom-Boakye has said that “race is something that I can completely manipulate or reinvent or use as I want to,”
“For myself, combining two very different images (Indian mythological and urban London) makes a situation which is both exciting and at times unbearable. I want to create an exchange between them so that everyday reality can appear mythic and the mythological part can become real.”
Craigie Aitchison is quoted as saying: ‘When people ask me why I only paint black people … I always ask them why they only paint white people’
I was delighted to be asked to be part of the book Digital Future of Museums: Conversations and Provocations by Keir Winesmith and Suse Anderson. I really enjoyed the discussion I had with Arthur Cohen, CEO of LaPlaca Cohen, the company behind Culture Track, which can be found in Conversation #10. The book also features conversations with Kati Price, Digital Director at the V&A, Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums Trust, Shelly Bernstein and Seb Chan. To learn more about the book, stay tuned for Zoom book launch in late April.
I’m incredibly excited to be attending my first SXSW event. I’ve been working with my colleagues at Art Council England to develop the art programme and a series of panel discussions. I’ll be moderating the session Time Machines, Museums and the Future of the Past in which I will be exploring the role of museums at a time when there is a very real possibility of time travel using immersive technology and artificial intelligence.