Exhibition I Saw : First Look – New Online Art

For EXHIBITION I SAW, D’s Art Takes and Divvya Nirula bring you Top-Hit’s of Gallery and Museum Exhibits we’ve visited. Today we look at New Museum’s show : First Look – New Online Art.

With the spread of Coronavirus, artists and institutions have recognised the need to go digital. Today people across the globe are locked away in their houses. The art world has essentially come to a standstill. Museums and galleries are shut. Exhibitions are cancelled or postponed. Art audiences are unable to venture out of their homes.

For these reasons, the need to push for a digital future is dire. The pandemic has made the fragility of the market all too apparent. After all, what are artist’s creating for, if they can’t sell or at least exhibit their works. Doing their bit in moving from the physical to the virtual, the New Museum presents its digital exhibition. The show is titled First Look – New Online Art.

Digital Diversity

The exhibition called upon various digital-media artists to create artworks. The resulting pieces are all refreshingly diverse and interesting. From game rooms, to videos, mesmerising audio-visuals and a wide range of topics. The exhibition has something for everyone. And the best part? It’s all accessible online.

Cassie McQuarter is one of the contributing artists. She presents her Black Room. A browser based game with a female protagonist that must traverse mystical and terrifying landscapes. The game also reference gaming culture in general, drawing inspiration from iconic characters.

New Black Portraiture is another piece that is a collaboration between 8 artists. It explores representations of the black body online. It further delves into the implications of such representations beyond the virtual, in the real world.

For Excellences & Imperfections, Amalia Ulman presents her findings from a 5 month long performance piece. The piece involved an extreme makeover – the stages of which were posted on social media. While the makeover was semi-fictitious, the imagery and narrative add to the work’s authenticity. The work presents a social commentary of the ills of beauty obsession.

The exhibition presents dozens of works exploring varying themes – but all having something in common. They have all been created using technology – and are especially for viewing online. The show is a kind of stepping stone. For is this not the future of art.


To read more insights and reviews into top exhibitions around the globe, visit the archive for Exhibition I Saw.