BASEL IS CANCELLED! Here Are The Best Virtual Art Shows To Attend Instead
A Comprehensive Guide to the Virtual Art Scene in Miami + Beyond
Oh, woe is me...Art Basel is cancelled! Miami’s Christmas. A week-long gathering of local and international artists, collectors, curators, designers, galleries, photographers, videographers, musicians, celebrities. Everyone and everything comes to the 305 and collectively merges into a gelatinous and flowing goo of artistic expression (and the people rich enough to buy it).
But not this year. Art Basel’s Miami Beach fair has been cancelled due to the pandemic. Normally, the international contemporary art festival is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center and showcases more than 260 galleries, 25 countries and over 4,000 artists. What makes it a truly special time, though, is that the spirit of Basel reaches far beyond the convention center and winds throughout the city's various neighborhoods at satellite art fairs (some nearly as big as Basel), glittering parties and dazzling events, all collectively known as Miami Art Week.
Although the energy and creativity you feel in-person during Art Week cannot be matched and will be sorely missed this year, there are a number of virtual art exhibits and events you can attend instead if you’re yearning for that magical Basel feeling.
The rise of virtual art and digital exhibits has been lingering in the shadows for the past few years; and now, thanks to COVID-19, it has been pushed to the forefront as a viable alternative to in-person shows. Thus, in an attempt to bring Basel back to life in a socially distant reality, I've compiled some of the best digital arts and culture events happening in Miami and beyond.
So, let’s set the mood—put on your artsiest outfit, turn on an experimental playlist and pour yourself a glass of wine to really summon the aura of Basel as we explore the virtual art scene.
HOMETOWN LOVE: MIAMI VIRTUAL ART EXHIBITS
Art Basel: Online Viewing Rooms
Ok, so maybe Art Basel isn’t totally cancelled. The fair announced that it would be hosting a series of Online Viewing Rooms that would run parallel to the three shows in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong.
The next online viewing rooms, OVR:20c, will take place from October 28 to 31, and will feature works created between 1900 and 1999. These will be followed in December by further Online Viewing Rooms that will be open to all galleries accepted to the 2020 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach.
In the meantime, you can peruse the ‘Online Viewing Room Stories,’ a collection of video content from previous OVR events which includes collector’s picks, interviews with artists and more.
Virtual Venue: artbasel.com/ovr
When: various dates; next OVR will be open to the public from Friday, Oct. 30 to Saturday, Oct. 31
Miami Film Festival GEMS
The Miami Film Festival is bringing the show directly to viewers this year. The seventh annual edition of Miami Film Festival GEMS will be held virtually for attendees exclusively based in Florida. Movie goers can either pay per film, or purchase a Virtual All-Access Pass to enjoy the entire GEMS virtual library from October 8-11, 2020.
Virtual Venue: miamifilmfestival.com/festival
When: Oct. 8-11
Oolite Arts: Idioms and Taxonomies
This exhibition curated by Laura Marsh, which explores the duality between personal and cultural histories, is currently available for viewing online. A true multimedia experience, the layout of the digital collection makes the viewer feel immersed as you scroll through the works by the Oolite artists-in-residence. At the top of the page is a 7 minute video walk through of the Lincoln Road gallery space featuring detail shots of the various works. Continuing downward you’ll find a description of the show, images of the artworks, a section for video works, a beautiful digital flip-book, and bios of the participating artists.
Virtual Venue: oolitearts.org/exhibition/idioms-and-taxonomies
When: until Dec. 13
Locust Projects: Project Room
The Project Room program at Locust Projects is currently hosting Tally Saves the Internet. This super cool project literally brings art to your browser.
According to their website:
Tally Saves the Internet is a new participatory digital and electronic work and large scale multi-channel video installation by North Carolina-based artists Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy. The work explores Surveillance Capitalism—the recording and monetizing of a user’s online interest and activity—through Tally, a web-based game.
Tally is a browser extension that transforms data advertisers collect into a multiplayer game. Once installed, a friendly pink blob named Tally lives in the corner of your screen; as the player browses the web, Tally senses trackers installed on each webpage and warns you when companies translate your human experiences into free behavioral data. When Tally encounters “product monsters” (online trackers and their corresponding product marketing categories) you can capture them in a turn-based battle (e.g. “Pokémon style”) transforming the game into a progressive tracker blocker, preventing the player’s real-life data from being collected and earning the right to your privacy through this playful experience.
Virtual Venue: tallysavestheinternet.com
When: until Oct. 24
Carlos Alfonzo: Witnessing Perpetuity
“Walk” through the 5,000 square-foot LnS Gallery space based in Coconut Grove via 3D interactive tour, also equipped for VR. Go right up to works and make your way through the various rooms of the gallery, which is dedicated in its entirety to the works of Carlos Alfonzo. The exhibit aligns to commemorate what would have been the year of Alfonzo’s seventieth birthday. Alfonzo is an important historical creative pioneer and key contributor to Miami’s role as a global center of art.
The Summer Collective: A Group Exhibition of 20+ Artists
A beautifully designed visual tour of the exhibit using clean white backdrop, images and thoughtful text, this exhibition showcases artists emblematic to the art historical and daily happenings of Miami across the 20th and 21st centuries.
Virtual Venue: lnsgallery.com/exhibitions
Throughout the month of October, The Betsy Hotel will be hosting the Zen + Art of Remembrance and Reckoning film series and talk back salons. The series films will be accessible for viewing for a period of 48 hours prior to each talk back salon. These online gatherings are presented by The Betsy Hotel, Florida International University, and the Jewish American Holocaust and Literature Association.
Zen and the Art of Remembrance and Reckoning - Run Boy Run (Oct 5 from 7-8pm)
Zen and the Art of Remembrance and Reckoning - 1945 (Oct 12 from 7-8pm)
Zen and the Art of Remembrance and Reckoning - Remembrance (Oct 19 from 7-8pm)
Zen and the Art of Remembrance and Reckoning - Aftermath (Oct 26 from 7-8pm)
The [Virtual] Bass
The Bass Museum has cleverly created a satellite gallery called THE BASS² (@thebasssquared) which lives exclusively on Instagram and houses video installations and art in the digital realm. There is also a section on their website titled The [Virtual] Bass which offers exhibitions, tours, artist talks and more. Check out virtual exhibitions like Tracey Moffatt’s Montages, Joyous Dystopia and Assume Vivid Astro Focus.
Virtual Venue: Instagram @thebasssquared and online at thebass.org/education/virtual-exhibitions-thebasssquared
O Cinema: Virtual Cinema
Though O Cinema South Beach is closed to the public during the pandemic, the nonprofit arthouse cinema is offering feature length screenings via its Virtual Theater Project. Most films require a general admission ticket fee, but there are select free screenings as well.
Virtual Venue: o-cinema.org/venue/virtual-cinema/
When: ongoing screenings
PAMM Digital Museum
The Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has been closed during the pandemic, but the PAMM Digital Museum offers the chance to take virtual tours, dive into exhibitions and watch a range of art talks.
The virtual tours are conveniently housed on YouTube as a playlist, as are the art talks, so you can hit play, sit back and virtually delve into the artworks.
Virtual Venue: pamm.org/digital-museum
Adrienne Arsht Center: ARSHT@HOME
The Adrienne Arsht Center’s ARSHT@HOME online collection is an immersive library of video content, educational resources and more. Their Living Room Live series transports listeners to the front row of intimate performances with Miami musicians and other performing artists. The Miami Monologues series showcases Miami actors performing monologues written by Miami playwrights.
Virtual Venue: arshtcenter.org/ARSHT-AT-HOME/Arsht-at-Home
When: ongoing programming
Art Miami: MIAMI ART CITY
Art Miami + CONTEXT have taken their fairs online with MIAMI ART CITY | Online Acquisition Rooms, a unique interactive platform designed to replicate the art fair experience online. According to their website, “the technology is intuitive, easy to use and fun to navigate.” MIAMI ART CITY will run during the original fair dates from Dec. 1 to Dec. 6.
Virtual Venue: artmiami.com/miamiartcity
When: Dec. 1 to Dec. 6
El Espacio 23
This space allows you to "walk” through the Time for Change exhibit at the 28,000 square-foot El Espacio 23 via 3D interactive tour, which also has VR capabilities. The exhibit was curated by Colombian curator Jose Roca, in collaboration with Pérez Collection stewards Patricia M. Hanna and Anelys Alvarez, and features nearly 100 works by over 80 artists from around the world.
Virtual Venue: my.matterport.com/show/?m=ewjSQdmi6hb
EXPLORING EXHIBITS OUTSIDE OF THE 305
Contemporary and Digital Art Fair’s Digital Art Month (NYC)
The CADAF launched its first ever #DigitalArtMonth on October 1. Last year, CADAF hosted immersive digital art experiences in Wynwood and NYC. This year, they are taking their show on the virtual road with more than 70 artworks exhibited in public spaces around NYC.
Artists have created Augmented Reality (AR) Art through social media filters and Video Art, which will be exhibited via QR codes activated through Instagram and Snapchat. Additionally, video art will be displayed on screens across the city. If you’re in NYC, you can do a self-guided exploration of the AR works around the city.
If you’re not in NYC, though, you can still “walk” around using the interactive map, which allows you to click on drop pins and view the different digital works along with descriptions. Mana Contemporary in Wynwood is also listed as a confirmed location, so perhaps there will be a Miami edition soon?
Participating artists will list their artworks for sale on the CADAF online platform powered by the Blockparty marketplace.
Virtual Venue: digitalartmonth.com
When: Oct. 1 to Oct. 31
Evolved Resolved (LA)
Evolved Resolved is on view via InCollect until Oct 23. Presented by InCollect and Female Design Council, the virtual show was curated by FDC founder Lora Appleton for the 2020 Los Angeles Design Festival.
After you “click to view the show” you’ll find “40 womxn artists and designers exhibiting a stellar collection of extraordinary works across a diverse range of disciplines, including furniture, art, sculpture, lighting, jewelry and ceramics." Visitors will be able to purchase the works and have the opportunity to experience the artists’ creative process through studio stills, process images and videos.
Virtual Venue: incollect.com/fdc-evolved-resolve
When: until Oct. 23
Eduardo Secci Contemporary Gallery (Florence)
The beauty of virtual exhibits is that you can walk through an art gallery in Europe from the comfort of your own couch! The Eduardo Secci Contemporary Gallery in Florence is currently exhibiting a collection of works by the Mexican contemporary artist Bosco Sodi. This virtual experience allows you to “walk” through the incredible space via interactive 3D tour and has a VR option as well.
Virtual Venue: eduardosecci.com/exhibition.php?id=M0000070
When: until Nov 14
Museo Stefano Bardini (Florence)
Eduardo Secci is also currently offering an interactive 3D tour of their Kevin Francis Gray exhibition at Museo Stefano Bardini. You can “walk” through the entire museum, including the Gray collection, online or using VR. The show, curated by Antonella Nesi, is promoted by the City of Florence, and organized in collaboration with Mus.e and Moaconcept.
Virtual Venue: eduardosecci.com/exhibition.php?id=M0000069
When: until Dec 21