Building a permanent collection at Mad Arts

Apr 12, 2024

Sofia Bastidas, Curator and Researcher

While numerous immersive art venues are emerging nationwide, Mad Arts has distinguished itself by evolving into a prestigious collecting museum. This entails curating a unique array of artworks that epitomize the intersection of art and technology. Demonstrating a steadfast commitment to nurturing groundbreaking concepts, Mad Arts has strategically acquired pieces that embody innovation and artistic excellence. By establishing a permanent collection, Mad Arts is not only shaping the cultural landscape of its region but also enriching the local art scene with avant-garde creations. 

The essence of Mad Arts' collection transcends mere exhibition; it serves as a beacon guiding the evolution of immersive arts and technology nationwide. This collection is bound to embark on a journey across the country, setting the standard for excellence in immersive art and technology, while providing invaluable insights into these burgeoning mediums. 

Moreover, Mad Arts distinguishes itself by actively commissioning new permanent artworks for its collection. By investing in site-specific creations, the museum empowers artists to explore concepts that resonate deeply with the community, while pushing the boundaries of technological innovation. This initiative enriches the museum's collection, while also fostering a dynamic dialogue between art, technology, and society.

Featured in Our Collection 

Mad Arts invests in both local talents and international visionaries operating at the dynamic intersection of arts and technology. With a profound dedication to embracing nontraditional art forms, such as poetry, the museum actively seeks out unique artworks that challenge conventions and ignite creativity. An example of this commitment is the inaugural acquisition of 22 NFT poems by theVERSEverse, a pioneering collective led by female poets, artists, and creative technologists. Their digital poems not only captivate audiences but also underscore the collective's mission to cultivate enduring value that sustains artists financially.

Mad Arts' leadership team has envisioned emphasizing permanent commissions in the transient spaces of the museum — such as the bathrooms, elevators, and stairwells — as an integral part of its collection. For instance, a visit to the second-floor bathrooms unveils Self Absorption, a thought-provoking installation by Media Pollution. This site-specific artwork prompts viewers to contemplate the fusion of modern technology with our inner selves, urging introspection with the question: “Are you self-absorbed or absorbing the self...?” Media Pollution, a collective of designers, technicians, and artists, ingeniously repurposes old and new technologies to craft immersive installations that challenge perceptions.

In keeping with its dedication to nurturing local emerging talent, Mad Arts proudly showcases the work of South Florida-based multimedia artist Miguel Gonzales. Gonzales' installation, The Curious II, adorns the end hallway of the museum's second floor. This captivating interplay of light and sound reacts dynamically to musical compositions, guiding visitors on a sensory journey through the museum's spaces.

Among the collection's treasures lies The Hunter by Studio McGuire, a masterful paper diorama brought to life through projected animations, music, and sound effects. This enchanting piece intricately weaves a silent fable about human nature and redemption, seamlessly blending traditional craftsmanship with modern storytelling techniques. Studio McGuire's creation serves as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling in today's cultural landscape.

Equally compelling is The Empty Mirror of the Sky by the artist collective Shuster + Moseley, an immersive experience that invites contemplation of light and form. Suspended lenses and elliptical forms cast flickering strands and spontaneous spheres of light, offering visitors a mesmerizing encounter with abstracted screens and prismic geometries. Claudia Moseley and Edward Shuster's conceptual art studio, based in London, UK, expertly employs glass interfaces to mediate light, creating ethereal compositions that transcend conventional boundaries.

In our commitment to preserving artistic integrity, Mad Arts endeavors to uphold artists' copyrights and safeguard their creative legacies. Recognizing the challenges in tracking and securing artworks, we have pioneered an innovative approach by integrating diamond Dust technology into our collection registrar system. As the first museum to adopt this cutting-edge solution, Mad Arts utilizes Dust Identity to authenticate artworks acquired for our permanent collection. This ensures a secure and trusted method of categorizing artworks, facilitating future conservation treatments to preserve both their aesthetics and functionality over time.

Explore the rest of the artworks currently on view at Mad Arts.

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