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Kultura Sessions: BRUM

KULTURA Sessions: BRUM - an art gallery in the metaverse

Inspired by music festivals, the KULTURA Sessions: BRUM created a must-see online event featuring a Birmingham-inspired gallery in the metaverse.

The KULTURA Sessions: BRUM is a collaborative project between Birmingham Museums Trust, KULTURA and West Midlands artists and performers to bring together music, spoken word and art into Occupy White Walls (OWW), the massive multiplayer online video game where people build galleries and curate exhibitions with the help of ground breaking AI (DAISY).

In this collaborative project commissioned by Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT), in partnership with AI-driven art platform KULTURA and KULTURA Ex Machina, the start-up behind the Occupy White Walls ‘artiverse’, The Space supported the Museums Trust to commission a number of performers and artists to have their music, poetry and art beamed globally within the experience - musician Ace Ambrose, moving image artist De’Anne Crooks, musician Dorcha, poet Jasmine Gardosi, new media artist Antonio Roberts and mixed-media poet Samiir Saunders. The Creative Producer is artist Rosa Francesca.

The experience - which premiered on Twitch on 11th October in an event which was hosted by Queenie and Blue - also features a reimagined Digbeth with a stunning cyber reinterpretation of Gibb Street and the Custard Factory littered with colourful art installations for gamers to visit and explore.

Gamers across the world can now re-visit the music performances and immerse themselves in the Kultura Sessions: Birmingham through the game (OWW), available via download platform Steam.

The new collaboration builds on BMT’s existing relationship with OWW after Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG) became the first official museum to partner with the arts platform during the pandemic lockdown, enabling users to curate their own exhibitions in a virtual BMAG and explore a growing fantasy world of art.

For BMT, partnering with KULTURA/OWW is another way for people to engage with art and performance in the city. It also opens up data and analytics about how the public engages with BMT on a level never seen before in ‘bricks and mortar’ galleries.

Linda Spurdle, Head of Digital at Birmingham Museums, said: “We’re excited to be taking the creativity of Birmingham into the virtual world of Occupy White Walls.

“We’d previously partnered with OWW to add Birmingham art collections and even a version of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery to the game, and this project was inspired by the fact that you can now add sound to the game. We thought it would be great to have an event or festival, showcasing Birmingham artists, but what we have is even better than that, as they have created a Digbeth-inspired cityscape within the game for players all over the world to visit.

“We’re pleased to that influencers Blue and Queenie will be livestreaming it on Twitch for everyone to enjoy. This R&D project was funded by The Space, who do so much to help arts organisations to innovate using digital means.”

Fiona Morris, CEO and Creative Director of The Space, said: “The Space is delighted to be supporting Birmingham Museums Trust on the KULTURA Sessions: BRUM . This exciting, immersive digital experience invites users to see and hear, music and art from an exciting range of Birmingham artists. We are sure this will provide a fantastic sense of place and ignite an interest in the city’s culture through digital means.”