Virtual Access Lab is a joint initiative from New Art City and Gray Area supporting accessible digital culture through software, commissions, and digital preservation. Its mission is to make tools and practices for accessible preservation available to artists, and to produce art experiences which can impact the widest possible audience.
The New Art City collection documents a period of rapid sociocultural transformation beginning in 2020 and incorporating over 5,000 artists across hundreds of exhibitions. As the archive grew, it became clear that preservation must be prioritized, and that access was imperative to the work's continued relevance.
Virtual Access Lab is a result of New Art City’s ongoing work with their accessibility panel which includes Andy Slater, Charlotte Strange, Nat Decker, and Viv Qiu. This group helped New Art City set goals, gather accessibility research, and test existing technical infrastructure. The panel will continue to support the development of both New Art City as a tool, and Virtual Access Lab as an artist resource.