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PLACEText: Alicja Grabarczyk

WRO Art Center is a leading contemporary art, media and technology institution, and a newly-founded permanent exhibition/lab space from the makers of International Media Art Biennale WRO, based in Wroclaw, Poland.

WRO Art Center
WRO Art Center entrance. Photo: Michal Szota

The Center’s activities are based on the experience of the WRO Center for Media Art Foundation. Since 1989 the Foundation has established the WRO Biennale as a world-scale event presenting contemporary artistic practices related to the development of communication tools. The WRO Foundation, promoting the creative use of technology has been carrying out significant artistic projects expressing the diffusion of varied genres of art in the form of exhibitions, screenings, multimedia concerts and performances.

WRO Art Center
A part of the Media Kindergarten installation by Patrycja Mastej, Dominika Sobolewska and Pawel Janicki (2008)

Within the exhibitions organized by WRO such renowned artists as Stelarc, Robert Cahen, Jaron Lanier, Jeffrey Shaw, Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer have presented their projects in Wroclaw. Numerous international symposia and conferences, such as Mediation / Medialization (2000) with participation of Yoshiyuki Abe, Machiko Kusahara, Keiji Nakamura and Keisuke Oki contributed to assimilation of such terms as ‘virtual reality’ or ‘medialization’ into the Polish vocabulary. Special events carried out so far include among others Digital Japan exhibition (2003) gathering a set of works from the Digista Awards organized by NHK or The Other Book (2005) including among others works by Masaki Fujihata. From the very beginning, the events have been attracting the attention of audiences of several thousand (20 thousand during WRO 07 Biennale).

Located in the attic of an early 20th century Otto Stiebler’s coffee roasting plant, WRO Art Center takes up over 700m2 of space fully adapted to the requirements of contemporary art presentations. The architectonic adjustments combine the restored elements of the interiors (including the original rafter framing) with the newly designed glass façade to serve as a large-format screen to present works conceived for the public space.

The multifunctional gallery and laboratory spaces enable the simultaneous implementation of different kinds of events. Together with the lab activities and research, WRO Art Center launches series of educational and dissemination projects, as well as conducts its publishing works.

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