Beyond the Museum: Leadership Experiences from VR Production Studios

Cancan Wang, Barbara Patricia Nino Carreras

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As digital technologies evolve at an exponential speed, the digital art scene has become ever more vivid in the past decades, with various forms of collaboration emerging between art museums, artists, curators, and audiences. While these collaborations are celebrated for their potential mutual benefits, such as knowledge exchange and the legitimizing effects on artworks, art museums struggle to maintain their relevance, and for this reason museum leadership has been deemed of critical importance. Historically, museum leadership has steered art museums through paradigm shifts using two approaches, namely, individual and relational. Nonetheless, the motivations for choosing these leadership approaches and their effects on guiding art museums into digital art remain unknown.
In this study, we explore leadership approaches that contribute to museum-studio collaboration on the creative output of digital art by tracing one of the enabling actors: creative studios. We choose this focus to understand how studios carry out the production and distribution of digital art in a collaborative setup. Through short ethnographic studies of two Copenhagen-based VR art creative studios: Khora Contemporary and MAKROPOL, we argue that the choice of leadership approach in VR art production and distribution is contingently motivated by either market or knowledge-oriented views of digital art. Consequently, contemporary art museums have the potential to become platforms that carefully negotiate ethical and contextual implications in leading digital art projects at the intersection of market and knowledge-driven agendas.
StatusUdgivet - 30 jul. 2021


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