New platform sees arts organizations host exhibitions and fundraise with virtual reality


Mélanie May | July 5, 2021 | New

Sarabande of the virtual exhibition VOV

An initiative co-created by the charity Outset Contemporary Art Fund and the art-science collective Visualoical brought together 15 UK public art institutions to organize exhibitions and events around the world via virtual reality, on a single digital platform – and to collect funds.

The initiative, called theVOV, hosts free exhibitions with audiences invited to make micro-donations during their visit to support participating organizations. Donations are shared equally among all participating institutions.

theVOV just wrapped up an inaugural 12-week season, sponsored by UBS, and announced a recall, reviving all 15 virtual exhibitions for this week alone.

Starting today, from Monday July 5 to Sunday July 11, the 15 virtual exhibitions will be live on the VOV with a single message: Support the arts.


Exhibits are presented by arts organizations across the UK, from the Tate to the National Galleries of Scotland, Spike Island and Turner Contemporary. 27 artists exhibit, including Chris Burden, Lisa Brice, Andreas Gursky and Yinka Shonibare CBE RA.

theVOV also offers free access to live events and on-demand content featuring interactive experiences, such as virtual gallery tours, workshops and conferences.

Candida Gertler OBE, co-founder, co-director and administrator of Outset said:

“Arts institutions need to diversify their sources of income and now adapt radically as we navigate a changing world that is restarting. Public museums and galleries must chart a new course to engage the public in this new “phygital” world or risk losing audiences and a generation of donors who will simply lose interest in supporting the visual arts. With the announcement that UBS is now the official sponsor of theVOV in its first season, we could not be more excited by the approval we have received from partners, arts institutions and all audiences who visit and support the cause; offering a ray of hope for fruitful things to come.

Natasha Hersham, Co-Founder of Visualologic, said:

“While the artistic experiments within the ‘metaverse’ are still in their infancy, it is clear from the first season of VOV that the ground is fertile, the potential infinite and the appetite of artistic institutions and the public for the experiments. virtual has never been so great. It is now our role to support the cultural sector in adopting this new relationship with XR technologies and to be at the forefront of “phygital” innovation in the arts. “

Main image: 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’, organized by Hikari
Yokoyama and Trino Verkade (2021)

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