In anticipation of its fall 2012 opening, the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University has launched the Virtual Broad Art Museum, a multi-user online environment that provides an innovative and globally accessible venue for the presentation of interactive digital artworks. Created by intermedia artists John Fillwalk and Adam Brown, the virtual space mirrors the architecture of the Zaha Hadid designed museum.
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."
The Virtual Broad Art Museum is accessible to the public through the museum's website. 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.