From the initiative put forward by the Instituto Lusíada de Cultura-ILC, a non-profit entity founded in 1982 and declared to be of public utility in 1991, a Museum dedicated to digital arts is now being created. This involves rehabilitating a significant part of the Agricultural Cooperative of Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo’s facilities.
The great challenge faced, and the point of uncertainty in this project, is rooted in the location selected – abandoned industrial installations, within an area that is still mainly agricultural and undergoing desertification, but where extraordinary aspects and values of the Algarve’s ethnography, culture and heritage remain alive – and the ambition to transform these into an art centre that will shine an international spotlight on both the Algarve specifically, and Portugal, more generally.
Beginning with equity being mobilised and EU support granted, from the very start of the project countless European and Portuguese entities and individuals contributed to the project, from collecting proposals and challenges to helping us design the rehabilitation and adaptation of old grain stores into new, clearly versatile spaces dedicated to the creation, exhibition and enjoyment of digital art.
We purposely did not prepare the facilities to accommodate a specific collection or specific type of works, rather, we invested the infrastructure and equipment, using the most advanced technologies available in Portugal today to support the artistic creation and production of digital art. We will therefore build our collection out of the works produced here, while seizing any opportunities that may arise, whether within Portugal or abroad, to bring renowned artists and works to the Algarve and to Portugal.
Our partners range from relevant Portuguese and foreign digital arts public entities and associations to the all-important partnerships we are establishing with previously existing European museums, allowing us to work side by side with them.
The installation and operation of this project will naturally rely on the international, national and regional knowledge and skills available, while we also consider it to be of extreme importance that the local population get involved in and recognise the project, including new residents (who are mostly foreign) and tourists visiting the Algarve and Portugal.
The main aim of this museum is to create a physical space for the exhibition of digital art works. Achieving this aim will involve sharing (artwork with the public) and hospitality (in welcoming in resident artists). We do not, however, intend to display a predetermined set of works, or those belonging to a specific artistic area, but rather to encourage creators, artists, research centres, museums and universities (specifically the University of Algarve) to approach us with innovative projects that promise international visibility thanks to their originality and aesthetic values.
Above all else, we aim to be a source of pride for the region in affirming its values and gaining international recognition. As such, the project will encourage the in-situ production of works of art designed specifically for the existing exhibition spaces, supported by technologies that allow all the potentialities provided by the use of digital media to be explored. The works presented will, therefore, be site-specific (explicitly designed to be displayed in the museum’s galleries, which have a very strong personality, aesthetically-speaking), but also from other international museums’ collections.
Museu Zer0 will also be uniquely positioned due to its location within the agricultural silos, which are, undoubtedly, a landmark. The museum’s central concept aims to explore the processes of the hybridisation of a space, striving for continuity to be achieved between landscape, architecture and art.
João Correia Vargues
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Miguel Teixeira Pinto
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
EDUCATIVE SERVICE, AUDIENCE AND ARTS
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