Virtual, the new realityAs you continue to shelter in one place, leverage the flexible virtual space for rich social experiences.
Kar Sangmo D Syangtan
Roads clear. Bars closed. Concerts cancelled.
While our regular lives are in a standstill around the globe, the time stays in motion. Although we were quite used to the habits of daily movement between cities and social interactions, resisting the inertia of it all still hugely occupies our mind. But the number of virtual events online is soaring, so your endeavour on learning and entertainment need not be at a complete halt, after all.
Curators of all kinds of creative pursuits have brought artists and the audience together to make these trying times a bit more bearable. “Being a collective, we have a list of creatives from various fields and we approach them for a talk,” says Suraj Ratna Shakya, Creative Director from Sattya Media Arts Collective. “We try not to make the sessions very interview-ish, so our talks are candid.” Sessions with Sattya Media are usually held on Zoom with a simultaneous stream on Facebook as well. The sessions are by Robic Upadhyaya, Rupak Sunuwar, and Suraj Ratna Shakya of Sattya Media on a rotational basis.
“The other thing that we do after the session is over is the ‘after-party’ talk where the participants on zoom can directly interact with the guest. That has been quite fun,” he adds, “All our talks happen at 3 PM and lasts about one and a half with extended after-party sessions on Zoom.” The videos are later uploaded on Sattya Collective on YouTube for the archive.
Globally, some of the most known museums have offered free access to their (cultural) collections during the pandemic. The museum gates may be closed indefinitely but the immersive experience of visiting virtually is a valuable alternative—The Museum of the World where we can navigate cultures and artefacts from prehistory to present and The Louvre’s ‘The Advent of the Artist’ exhibition. Similarly, Van Gogh Museum has made a virtual 4K Tour of the museum available on YouTube. Not to forget Bode Museum’s unforgettable panoramic richness of digitised sculptures and paintings displayed virtually on the list. When cultural institutions with artworks of such great history influence come together, virtually (often with Google), so the exploration and learning process is not hindered—it is up to us to to make the most of it.
Locally, Kaalo.101 is currently rebuilding their space digitally before launching their first online exhibition on May 28, which is the Menstrual Hygiene Day. Their statement on an Instagram post reads, “As an art space we think it is important to envision alternatives in order to continue the work we do and love.”
To compensate for the missed live performances by artists, Billboard has compiled an updating list of ‘All the Livestreams & Virtual Concerts to Watch During Coronavirus Crisis’ where you can find virtual “concerts” to attend in your own comfy space with all the privacy you need to rave like crazy. If you want to soothe in music other than pop labels, Royal Albert Hall brings exclusive sessions from artists’ homes to yours whilst the Hall is shut. You can click into the Royal Albert Hall Youtube channel to stream.
Music, check. Art, check. What about theatre then? National Theatre UK makes theatre available for all as the pandemic closes the curtain on the stage indefinitely. Each performance is available to stream for a period of seven days only.
The significance of reading during the pandemic, needless to say, is insurmountable. For many, the reality of not only being locked down but also their inability to do anything for those that need help leaves plenty of room for restlessness. Some libraries like the Oxford University Press and the Cambridge University Press have made a portion of their resources free for access. For reads as beautiful as poetry itself, Brain Pickings and The On Being Project are freely accessible (with or without the pandemic) online resources with show and podcasts, bringing all forms of literature and poetry together.
And finally, Google Arts & Culture has as you can imagine, arts and culture, yes. From Explore by Artist, Museums Around the World, and Famous Sites in Street View to Activities To Do At Home to Big Concepts Explained and Explore in Augmented and Virtual Reality—you can have it all. It’s all in a few taps and clicks and on the touch of your finger, the world in a standstill.
Sattya Collective have scheduled the following virtual talks in coming days.
Rohit and Roshan Giri
Snake conservationists / Photographer / Videographer
Martha Del Grandi
Singer-Songwriter / Sofar Sounds Kathmandu / Fossick Project