Situated inside Roblox, a multiplayer online environment for young people, Artasia 2021 brings neighbourhoods together via virtual islands and bridges.
Generations Park explores themes of building empathy, understanding of land-embedded histories, and celebrating each other’s uniquenesses and differences. Children create hands on artworks that are digitized to populate a multiplayer online environment in Roblox. In this virtual space, children explore each others neighborhoods (represented as islands) and creations, embedded as 2D and 3D models.
While video conferencing has become commonplace, immersive forms of digital togetherness remain emergent. Artasia 2021 explores how a multiplayer online environment Roblox can deepen engagement with arts in our community.
Flora and Fauna
Who lives here? How can we care for the land?
Collage activities enable children and youth to give attention to native species of plants and animals. Mindful of the land and its stories, children explore concerns about habitat, plant varieties, pollinators, and endangered species.
Landmarks and Structures
What makes your neighbourhood special? What if you could build your dream playground?
Having ensured adequate habitat and space for animals and plants, we can also consider generations park as a place to play! Kids create whimsical model playgrounds on a table-top scale using hands-on materials and digital apps (e.g. Tinkercad)
Tactile media such as plasticene and pipe cleaners are transformed into virtual space using 3D modelling tools supported by the Artasia team.
Avatars and Identity
Children explore identity and expression through paper characters and fashion design. Inspired by Roblox avatars, these paper people (and their clothes) are documented by the Artasia team to become actual outfits in the virtual Roblox world. Building on a basic cutout template, children will assemble and customize shirts, pants, and emoji stickers to give expression to their own unique avatar selves. Once assembled, children name their paper characters, and perform with their friends through tabletop storytelling and play.
Bridges and Journeys
How can we stay connected?
Bridging the gap between neighbourhoods, kids connect their islands by creating empathy bridges populated with stories about their journey and the importance of staying connected.
Stories and Gratitude
We open our ears and hearts to the gifts and gratitude of storytellers. Acknowledging the land as a shared gift, and building understanding of treaties and teachings, can help people from all communities better care for each other and the planet. Each “gratitude stone” becomes a colourful expression of thanks. Painted stones are documented to become digitally present in Generations Park. Interactive audio recordings hold children’s expressions of gratitude and playback during a digital encounter.
Snapshots - Observing and Reflecting
Through pedagogical documentation, artists and educators reflect on their experiences with children and youth, observing, documenting, and reflecting on the learning and expression that happens and the connections that are made through arts practice.