Merging mindsets

The potential for digital collaboration in Manitoba

The digital and creative arts are merging. A local program aims to facilitate connections in digital arts and design. Developed through a partnership between New Media Manitoba, Video Pool Media Arts Centre and Creative Manitoba, the Merging Mindsets program has held a number of panels over the past few months that have explored the possibilities of projection mapping, virtual reality and digital collaboration.

Julie Gendron, the creative manager of the project, says “Ultimately, the goal is to create exposure around the tools that are available (to create digital art). Isolation and the cost of things should not be a barrier. That’s the underlying big goal.”

Margaret Noble, a sound artist and designer from San Diego, is leading a workshop at Video Pool on Feb. 13 called Anatomy of Planning a Tech/Art Project.

Noble says the workshop will be “an overview (of) the long-term strategies that are extra beyond your usual artwork. I’m not (covering) a specific technology. It is more like an overview of producing a large new work from conception to packing it up and sending it back after exhibition.”

Noble, whose work has evolved to include sculpture and installation, says artists are “heading towards iterative and experimental media, exploratory hybrids, and works can become incredibly dynamic and can take on brand-new lives in combined media.”

Merging Mindsets is hosting a conference on March 13 and 14. “The conference is going to look at different ways of thinking about the world, (thinking) more philosophical(ly),” Gendron says. “What we hope to come out of that is an actual blueprint for creating more opportunities for artists and people working in the digital media industry.”

Panels and demonstrations will cover topics like digital ethics, combining art forms and creating prosperity for artists through collaboration, including a panel concentrating on the generational gap between baby boomers and millennials.

“The media creates a chasm between generations, and we want to have a conversation about bringing these generations together, finding the middle,” Gendrom says. “I think Winnipeg is very collaborative in a lot of ways,” but it can always improve.

The last event of the year, Instructables, will take place during the day on April 25 in the Exchange District. “Instructables will be like First Fridays, except that it will be different art and digital organizations,” Gendron says. Artists will partner with these organizations to present new work. Audience members will be invited to engage with the material through studio visits and demonstrations.

The Anatomy of Planning a Tech/Art Project will be held a Video Pool on Feb. 13 from  6 to 8 p.m. For further information on upcoming panels and events, go to creativemanitoba.ca. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Published in Volume 74, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 13, 2020)

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