Ender Gallery is an exhibition space and artist residency that exists inside the game Minecraft.

About the residency

Partnering with the MacKenzie Art Gallery and curated by Sarah Friend, Cat Bluemke, and Jonathan Carroll, Ender Gallery is excited to host our first run of programming! We have four residencies planned for 2021, featuring Cat Haines, Simon M. Benedict, Huidi Xiang, and Travess Smalley.

Upcoming events

Closing the Open Studio: a Minecraft performance by Huidi Xiang

Flyer for the Closing the Open Studio, showing the title text in front of an extreme yellow building

Oct 16th 12-1pm CST (Regina time) 2-3 pm EST (Toronto time) 8-9 pm CEST (Berlin time)

In “How to Be an Artist in Minecraft,” Ender Gallery artist-in-residence Huidi Xiang @huidixiang considered what it means to be a working artist within a game designed for play. Examining the affordances, limitations and expectations of creative work on the Minecraft platform, Xiang has developed the persona of the “artist villager.” Inside the exhibition on October 16th, from 12-1pm CST, Xiang will interact with audience members as the artist villager persona, proposing a model for a non-player character that challenges the creative supremacy of the player. In this “closing studio” event, Xiang will initiate the process of deconstructing her studio/exhibition on the Ender Gallery server and start to restore the server back to its original state. Through the performance of the very act of de-installation, Xiang invites the audience to contemplate the idea of maintenance, deconstruction, and restoration in a digital context.

In order to experience the performance first-hand on the Minecraft platform, you will require a licensed copy of the Java edition of the game and a corresponding Minecraft account to join the server. Please contact cbluemke@mackenzie.art if you would like to join in-server but do not have an account. Instruction on how to join are available at www.ender.gallery/howtojoin

The performance will also be livestreamed to the MacKenzie Art Gallery’s social media, including its Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch accounts, which are viewable without a Minecraft account.

Current Exhibition

Flyer for the How to be an artist in minecraft opening, showing the lineup of all the work tables, including the artist data table, that has been added to the game

Presenting How to be an artist in Minecraft, a solo exhibition by Huidi Xiang. During her residency time, Xiang created replicas of her artist studio (both physically and in Animal Crossing) and attempted to live a parallel artist life in Minecraft. Taking on the role of an artist-labourer in the game, she also kept a detailed log of her every activity on the server for the residency period, creating a visual data record or ledger for the increasingly overlapping contexts of play and labour in video games - as well as serving to concretize her labour as an artist.


Current Resident

Travess Smalley is an artist working with computation to make generative image systems. Smalley is interested in painting software, chance, computer graphics, and drawing. His artwork is represented by Foxy Production in New York and he is currently teaching and studying towards a MFA in Digital + Media at Rhode Island School of Design. Smalley has exhibited and lectured on his generative image making practice widely and internationally since 2008, including a lecture at the Bibliothèque Kandinsky - Centre Pompidou in Paris during spring 2016 about his ongoing series of self-published print-on-demand books. Smalley’s artwork is also in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art and Hood Museum of Art. His work has been shown at institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Kunsthal Rotterdam, and International Center of Photography, New York City.


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