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Broad/MSU launches Virtual Broad Art Museum Online

The Virtual Broad Art Museum, a multi-user online environment developed in anticipation of the fall 2012 opening of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (Broad/MSU), launched today.

Screenshot from Flickr Gettr, John Fillwalk, 2012

Created by internationally recognized intermedia artists John Fillwalk and Adam Brown, the virtual space mirrors the architecture of the Zaha Hadid-designed museum, and provides an innovative and globally accessible venue for the presentation of cutting-edge interactive digital artworks. Four original works by Fillwalk, which make use of the Virtual Museum’s capacity to facilitate interaction between users and with the environment itself, have been created for the project launch. As the virtual world evolves, the work of other artists will also be integrated into the space.

“Engaging visitors with innovators at the leading edge of art and technology, both here at MSU and around the globe, is key to the Broad Art Museum’s mission,” said founding director Michael Rush. “With the Virtual Broad Art Museum, we have an opportunity to embrace the tremendous creative and connective possibilities that exist in the digital world.”

Rush commissioned John Fillwalk and Adam Brown to create the Virtual Broad Art Museum project in advance of the opening of the Broad/MSU, the new international contemporary art museum at Michigan State University. Fillwalk works in interactive installation, virtual reality and hybrid art environments, and directs Ball State University’s Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts, which explores the intersections of art, science and technology. Brown is an Associate Professor of Art at Michigan State University, where he also directs the new Electronic Art & Intermedia program and its related research facility, the Form from Thought Laboratory.

The Virtual Broad Art Museum is accessible to the public through the museum’s website, at Users begin by choosing one of the featured works to experience. After entering the virtual museum, users select an avatar and move through the space with either a keyboard or a mouse, as they would navigate a virtual gaming environment. Visitors have the option to interact with other users with a chat feature, and the space also facilitates virtual lectures and performances, with up to 100 visitors from anywhere in the world.

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