Miami MoCAAD’s Innovative Virtual Art Exhibit Sets Their Hybrid Museum

Miami MoCAAD’s Innovative Virtual Art Exhibit Sets Their Hybrid Museum

The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora (Miami MoCAAD) is set to kick off Soul Basel and Miami Art Week fully immersed in the digital space. Miami MoCAAD will celebrate the premiere of its groundbreaking documentary and digital exhibition “This Life: Black Life in the Time of Now” on December 4, 2023, at The Urban-(1000 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33136) from 7:30-10:30 pm. Attendees can also tune in virtually at MoCAAD, through augmented and virtual reality experiences, delves into the intricate tapestry of contemporary Black existence through creative lenses and weaves together the personal narratives of four visual artists, offering an immersive experience that transcends geographical boundaries. “This Life: Black Life in the Time of Now” is a testament to the enduring power of art to bridge gaps, ignite conversations, and inspire change. As the world grapples with issues of race, identity, and social justice, this documentary and digital exhibition offer a unique and timely perspective on diverse experiences of Black individuals.

“This Life” is accessible to audiences everywhere, fostering a sense of community and shared understanding in an increasingly interconnected world. Curated by Dr. Anthony Bogues, the inaugural Director of the Ruth J. Simmons Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, this project promises to entertain, engage, educate, and empower. It will illuminate diverse facets of Black lives globally. This digital pilot exhibit/documentary is possible from funding from The John L. and James S. Knight Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor, and Board of County Commissioners. The Southeast Overtown Park/West Community Redevelopment Agency founded Soul Basel. This celebration of art and technology would not be possible without the funding support from the Overtown CRA, Miami MoCAAD, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s 2023 Art of Black Miami featured events, New World Symphony (provider of giant LED mobile screen), and the Miami-Dade Public Library System (provider of its Technobus).Attendees are invited to share in this momentous occasion.

In a world where diversity and representation are paramount, “This Life” is a powerful testament to the richness and complexity of Black experiences today. Dr. Anthony Bogues, a distinguished scholar and curator, lends his expertise to ensure that the project offers an enlightening, engaging and thought-provoking experience.

“As the director of the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, I am truly inspired by the transformative power of the technology-infused art program produced by Miami MoCAAD in the historic neighborhood of Overtown.  Miami MoCAAD’s vibrant murals in the heart of Overtown were thoughtfully created to reflect the community’s unique character and history.  The interactive murals add to the neighborhood’s artistic tapestry and provide a platform for meaningful dialogue and connection. The Soul Basel premiere of Miami MoCAAD’s virtual art exhibition together with augmented and virtual reality experiences embody the 21st century spirit of Overtown.”  James McQueen Executive Director-Southeast Overtown / Park West CRA

“To understand the complexities of Black Life today is to grasp in many ways how the world operates.  Black life brings to the fore what the African American thinker W. E. Du Bois once called a “second sight, “into this world. Each of the artists presented in this documentary and virtual exhibition engages with the world in unique ways. Their art tells us something specific and yet common about the world we live in. From Mark Gibson we see the contours of American society and the current dangers we face; from Renaldo Laurent, we understand the beauty and ways in which Haitian art is an oral language common to Haitian society. From Rosana Paulino we see how the anti-Black structures of Brazilian society are confronted both at the level of representation and an Afro- Brazilian aesthetics and from Nontsikelelo Mutiti, we are drawn into the ways in which art and hair weave a mosaic about Black female art forms. The richness of all these artistic practices makes Black life alive. –Anthony Bogues, PhD, Curator, Inaugural Director of the Ruth J. Simmons Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University.

“The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is excited to be a marketing partner with this digital and historical experience. Under our Art of Black Miami marketing platform, says Connie Kinnard, SVP of Multicultural Tourism for the GMCVB, we will help to promote this locally and nationally to encourage anyone interested in learning more about Black culture in an engaging way to attend. The Miami MoCAAD continues to bring impactful programming to our community year-round.”

The featured artists lending their voices and talent include Rosana Paulino, an internationally acclaimed feminist Brazilian artist; Renold Laurent, Haitian artist whose dynamic and expressive paintings are rooted in imagined dialogue with his audience and between mixed media, cultural history, the present, and our collective future; Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Zimbabwean-born visual artist and educator; and Mark Thomas Gibson, Miami born and raised visual artist working in painting, print, ink, and watercolor.

The New World Symphony will be providing a Mobile WALLCAST® concert content for this event, as well the New World Symphony Fellows will treat attendees to a live performance.

“Miami MoCAAD is creating a hybrid museum that leverages technology to inspire curiosity, expand accessibility, and innovate virtual and in-person museum experiences. We are excited about the platforms that allow MiamiMoCAAD to show the diversity of common denominators and connections within and outside the Diaspora. We look forward to the community joining us to explore these captivating narratives of four exceptional artists as they invite us to witness, learn, and celebrate the beauty and resilience of Black life in the contemporary moment”. We are also excited that the virtual art exhibit will be placed in the Microsoft portal as the art gallery for students to explore and receive inspiration for art+tech projects. -Marilyn Holifield-Co-Founder Miami MoCAAD.

“This Life: Black Life in the Time of Now” spotlights diverse artistic expressions showcasing a remarkable array of artistic mediums, from visual arts and literature to performance and digital media. Each artist brings a unique perspective and creative voice to exploring Black life today.

“Embrace the power of storytelling, for within the realm of documentaries lies the extraordinary ability to illuminate the vibrant tapestry of the Black Diaspora. As we delve into the depths of life, career, and influences, we unravel the rich threads that have shaped our culture. Let us embark on this transformative journey, crafting narratives that celebrate resilience, honor heritage, and inspire generations to come.” Michael Anderson-5X Suncoast Regional Emmy Award storyteller.

“Miami MoCAAD is using the digital advantage to gather and distribute the expression of artists from the African Diaspora. We are proud to be a digital partner in our shared work to reimagine how we bring art to a broader public. New World Symphony’s Mobile WALLCAST® technology is a natural fit for Miami MoCAAD’s forward-looking digital strategy. Together and for Soul Basel, we will bring artists from across the African Diaspora to Miami’s Overtown neighborhood for a local and global celebration of Black artists.”-Howard Herring, President and Chief Executive Officer New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy



“At Xennial, we’re grateful to have been selected as the digital partner by the Miami MoCAAD team to create this one-of-a-kind Virtual Reality (VR) experience. We hope the VR Miami MoCAAD museum serves as an example for the Arts and Entertainment world of how we can use immersive technologies to provide a new medium for artists to showcase their work without the limitations of time or physical boundaries.” Douglas Fajardo – Founder & CEO, Xennial Digital.