Stephen Vineburg’s Insights On AR Virtual Gallery Phenomenon
by Sonya Naboka on Sep 22, 2023
Welcome to this exclusive interview featuring Stephen Vineburg, an accomplished Australian-British art historian with a deep understanding of Proto-Renaissance art, and an artist in his own right. Today, Stephen will guide us through the ever-evolving world of art, with a focus on the virtualization of сreative manifestations. He’ll discuss the latest trends in contemporary art, the reasons behind its move into the virtual realm, and also introduce you to his own remarkable AR Portal Virtual Gallery project.
AREYES: Stephen, it’s a pleasure to have you with us today. Could you please introduce our readers to the current art landscape and how it’s being influenced by the trend of art transitioning into virtual galleries?
Stephen: Thank you for having me, AREYES. Contemporary artists are navigating a landscape where they have a global audience at their fingertips, but they must also contend with intense competition. In this digital age, artists are not just creators; they are brands. Their message, personality, and how they use virtualization are all part of their brand communication and competitive strategy. In particular, virtualization is permeating traditional art spaces and becoming a part of the competition as well. Both the National Gallery in London and the Lourve are also embracing these evolving technologies to dissolve boundaries and make art more accessible, granting the freedom to experience it from any location at any time.
AREYES: How does virtual art consumption differ from physical art consumption?
Stephen: One notable difference is the extended engagement virtual galleries offer. In physical spaces, visitors often spend mere seconds with each artwork. Virtual galleries liberate visitors, allowing for a deeper exploration.
AREYES: Are there specific art genres or styles that you believe are particularly well-suited for virtual galleries, and why?
Stephen: While digital art naturally transitions seamlessly, textured physical art may lose some of its detail in a digital rendering. However, I believe all art genres can find a place in virtual galleries. The key lies in how artists adapt their works to this new medium.
AREYES: As an art historian, do you see the emergence of a new art movement in the digital realm?
Stephen: Absolutely, AREYES. Much like Impressionism, German Expressionism, or Pop Art, where like-minded artists gathered in specific geographic locations to fuel creativity, we’re witnessing the emergence of new art movements in the digital world. However, these movements are not bound by physical location but are united by shared creative philosophies.
AREYES: Finally, could you share your journey in establishing your own virtual gallery?
Stephen: It began with my physical sculptures being exhibited in 2020, followed by their conversion into NFTs and Augmented Reality experiences. The logical next step was to create a virtual gallery to showcase this collection. One of the critical design choices was the rendering of the gallery’s walls; it was a balance between the deep colors of traditional galleries and ensuring they didn’t distract from the art. I opted for a semi-translucent white effect, and time will tell if it was the right choice.