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The annual museum forum organized by Latvian Museum Association, this year, will take place on January 27 from 10.00 and its theme will be ‘Real Virtuality’. The forum will be held on Zoom; however, as the registration for the participation in Zoom has already closed, the recordings of the 1st and 3rd part of the forum will be available on LMB YouTube Channel, while the 3rd part will be also streamed live on LMB Facebook page.

Covid-19 pandemic has made changes both in our daily and our professional lives. Work in the virtual environment and in all the spheres of the museum - in collection work, research, museum pedagogy, management, and communication, this has become an everyday reality. Hence, this year, the forum’s main task will be to discuss the forms of teleworking, the use of digital skills and tools in museums. The forum will consist of three parts: theoretical part, thematic workgroups, and conclusion.

Taking into account the events of 2020, the influence of Covid-19, and the increase in technology usage, the forum will feature the lectures by the experts of this sphere: Dace Melbarde, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-President of the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education; artist, curator of the new media culture center and art gallery E-Lab / RIXC Rasa Smite, and Elīna Vikmane, Head of the Latvian Academy of Culture Master's Program “Cultural Heritage Management and Communication” and LMB Board Member. These professionals will give an insight into the increase of the digital tool usage in the museum’s daily lives, the challenges, and opportunities in real virtuality as the work in the virtual environment and in all the museum core spheres has become the everyday reality.

The forum will feature the lecture titled ‘Virtualities and Realities. New Art Experience in the Immersive Spaces’ by RIXC artist Rasa Smite on Zoom at 10:30, introducing the virtual space and immersive experience in the context of art. The interest in the virtual world as the reality simulation and illusory space is more than a hundred years old. The creation of the first virtual environment at the end of the 20th century and its technological process has been incredibly complicated and only after few decades the new ‘immersive’ experiences have become available to everybody. Nowadays, the creation of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) has become much easier. However, there is another complicated issue, concerning the combination of immersive media and development of artificial intelligence, ‘smart’ algorithms and ‘big data’, as well as the biometric functions, for example, facial recognition algorithms or the use of fingerprints to unlock mobile phones. The ubiquity of virtual technologies creates endless possibilities to be observed, tracked, and controlled.  In 2017, RIXC organized the contemporary media art exhibition titled ‘Virtualities and Realities’, as well as an international conference that critically analyzed what are innovations of virtual reality technologies and what they promise to provide in the arts, education, and creative industries.

Just after three years, virtuality has become our everyday reality - for almost a year now, the only opportunity for artists to exhibit their work has been to publish it on the Internet. The idea of the ‘museums without walls’ offered by André Malraux in the mid 20th century has gained new resonance since the beginning of the pandemic when virtual visits to museums and galleries grew at an unprecedented rate.

How artists discover the relationships between the virtual and real and what kind of immersive experiences they aim to create? Rasa Smite will explore this question in her lecture on the ‘Virtualities and Realities’ (2017) exhibition and her newest artwork - ‘Atmospheric Forest’ (2020, with Raitis Smits). The artist will also introduce the on-going RIXC digital gallery project - ‘Immersive Excursions’ (2021) -  and will take a look into the most successful virtual museums, critically analyzing the opportunities and limits of the unexpectedly emerged modern virtuality.


+371 67228478 (office)

+371 26546776 (Rasa Smite)