Together with Creative England we're happy to present a 4 part workshop series for artists working in both Virtual and Augmented Reality.

This programme will span over 4 sessions and will consider the longevity of VR and AR content and its potential impact on artists' business growth. It looks at what commissioners and investors look for in these modern artforms, the realities and challenges of VR and AR reaching wider audiences, exhibition in a wider art world and how the future of VR and AR has the potential to challenge traditional forms of market trade. 

This programme will look into methods of packaging your completed VR and AR work for curators and planning an effective market and exhibition strategy for your work. 

We will offer insight into the perceived trends of VR and AR content, where that perception stems from, and which organisations welcome VR&AR artworks.

In an age of rapidly developing technology, an artist may find themselves sticking to trends to remain current and socially engaged. As an artist you might ask yourself:
    - Do I need to contend with technology (headset) advancements and depreciation? How does that impact on my work?
    - Where do I desire for my artwork to be seen?
    - Can my work have longevity?

We invited key industry professionals from the visual and immersive art sectors as well as collectors and researchers, to deliver a series of presentations on their organisations aims, research processes and year round models. The selected session leads are invited because of their contribution towards working with artists in Virtual and Augmented Reality and their openness to support the longevity of those artforms. 

This programme is about strategy once an artwork has recently been created and not from a funding or pre-creation point of view.
It doesn't require accreditation and is free of charge. You don't need to be an artist working in Virtual and Augmented Reality to participate.


EDITION 1: Programme Introduction, Project Packaging & Exhibition Strategising

11:00-12:00 BST /// Wednesday 12 August
Presented by Joe Cutts - Curator & Head of Arts Programme, Sheffield Doc/Fest

To open the programme, Curator & Head of Arts Programme Joe Cutts will primarily focus on potential methods of how to package your artwork for sending to Curators, protect its artistic authenticity and how to strategically plan your exhibition strategy. In this edition, artists will learn:
About the direction of Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Arts Programme (formerly Alternate Realities);   
    - Recent trends in the industry;
    - How to package their work;
    - How to strategically plan on where to distribute your work to?

Joe Cutts joined Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2011. He has been integral to shaping the identity and ethos of Arts Programme, stripping away the trend of modern technologies and aligning them with timeless art forms. He is currently leading on the artistic vision for the festival and year round programmes. Cutts is also a video installation artist and programmer based at S1 Artspace in Sheffield.



EDITION 2: Curating & Commissioning Virtual & Augmented Reality (Galleries & Art Institutes)
11:00-13:00 BST /// Thursday 17 September

The second edition of this programme will look specifically at how curators and commissioners from the Visual Arts sector have welcomed VR and AR into their research, exhibition programmes and year round strategies. In addition, it will also focus on how their research has led to opportunities and supporting and commissioning artists working in these art forms. In this edition, artists will learn:
    - About the artistic programmes of FACT Liverpool;
    - About the artistic programmes and co-productions of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute;
    - About ways in which contemporary art institutions have worked with commissioning and presenting immersive media technologies   ;  
    - How the Covid 19 crisis has impacted on programming and what a shift towards online commissioning and presentation means for working with artists.

Part 1 (11:00-12:00 BST)
Presented by Maitreyi Maheshwari - Head of Programme, FACT Liverpool
Maitreyi Maheshwari is Head of Programme at FACT (Film, Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool which is one of the UK's leading media arts centres. She oversees FACT's exhibitions, learning, research and artists residencies programmes. She has previously worked at London's Zabludowicz Collection, where she developed a strand of programme focussed on artists VR. She has also worked at Tate Modern and Artangel.

Part 2 (12:00-13:00 BST)
Presented by Anna Szylar - Digital Culture Programme Manager, Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Anna Szylar is a culture manager, programmer, and producer. Since 2014, she has been associated with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, a state institution aiming to increase international awareness of Polish culture. Currently working as manager of the Digital Cultures Programme dedicated to promoting Polish digital arts abroad through commissioning new works, and acting as a co-producer of VR projects, art installations, and indie games. She is also the head of the Digital Cultures Festival, established in 2017 as an international platform for networking and exchange in the field of new media, cross media, computer games, and digitally supported heritage preservation.



EDITION 3: Curating Virtual & Augmented Reality (Festivals)
The third edition of this programme will look specifically at how curators and researchers from a festival background have welcomed VR and AR into their exhibition programmes, year round strategies and how they work with arts institutes to demonstrate this also. In this edition, artists will learn:
    - About the artistic projects of IFFR's Art Directions programme;
    - The value of factoring in the audience when developing and presenting a VR work;
    - About the artistic programmes of MUTEK Montréal;
    - About how working with a glocal network of festival partners in Covid times and the opportunities that are out there for artists at the moment.

Part 1 (11:00-12:00 BST)
Presented by Bregje Benecke - Curator & Coordinator of Art Directions, International Film Festival Rotterdam
Curator and coordinator of Art Directions Bregje Benecke joined International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2016. With a background in film (writing and directing) and art history, she focuses on bringing these discourses together. She works on installations, exhibitions and performances that explore, question and push the boundaries demarcating the audio-visual landscape. She’s currently spearheading the integration of new immersive art forms, including VR, into the festival’s programme.

Part 2 (12:00-13:00 BST)
Presented by Katharina Meissner - Strategic Development, MUTEK
Katharina Meissner is in charge of strategic development at MUTEK, a Montréal-based, internationally spread festival and platform for digital creativity, audiovisual performance and electronic live music. Since 2013 she has played a major role in positioning MUTEK in the global, ever changing digital arts landscape, designing formats such as MUTEK Forum and XR Salon and programming conference, market and exhibition contents. Before joining MUTEK, Katharina gained a broad experience across culture and the creative industries, with employment in urban media art, design and video games.


EDITION 4: Collecting & Archiving Virtual & Augmented Reality
11:00-13:00 GMT /// Wednesday 18 November
Presenters Announced Soon

Creative England // BFI

Image credit: Another Dream, Multi-disciplinary Installation, Site Gallery, 2019
Courtesy of James Clarkson