What is the Venice Biennale?

The Venice Biennale is an enormous, biannual exhibition of global contemporary art spread across temporary sites throughout the city of Venice as well as a series of permanent exhibition venues: national pavilions featuring artists selected by each participating country (in the Giardini and various locales around Venice) and a large-scale exhibition of international art selected by the Biennale curator (at the Arsenale and the Padiglione Centrale). This year marks the 55th Venice Biennale and is curated by Massimiliano Gioni with a theme of “The Encyclopedic Palace.” While the art biennale is the longest-running and most prominent (est. 1893), Venice now hosts biennale exhibitions devoted to cinema, architecture, dance, music, and theatre in alternating years.


What is this website?

This site showcases the student-led research projects in Prof. Kate Mondloch’s “Global Currents in Contemporary Art and the Venice Biennale” course at the University of Oregon that took the 2013 Venice Biennale art exhibition as its central case study. In addition to studying the art on display, we used the exhibition to explore contemporary social, economic, and political topics such as globalization, national identity, cultural politics and tourism, and the impact of new technologies. As part of this effort, students developed multimedia resources documenting thirty different national pavilions in their artistic, political, and social contexts. Student presentations voted to be “exceptional” by the full group of students are indicated with a star symbol (★). We hope you enjoy exploring the site!


How do I view the multimedia resources?

Each entry is organized by region and by country. Multimedia content for each national pavilion includes: an interactive illustrated google earth map and narrated tour, youtube video channel, and annotated bibliography. Please note that you will need google earth software installed on your computer to view those materials. *Important update* Please note that due to changes in the google earth platform, certain files may not function properly. Stay tuned for our 2015 Biennale updates and thanks for your patience!

Getting started

    • Download and install the latest version of Google Earth (free)
    • Download any student’s Google Earth presentation and open the .kmz file in Google Earth (File > Open). The presentation will appear in the left hand-panel, “Places.”

Using the left hand panel “Places”

  • Panel can be expanded vertically and horizontally by hovering mouse over dot just above the “Places” name and to the right of the panel’s scroll bar. Next, click and drag.
  • To start presentation, double-click on the pushpin to jump to that location.
  • Symbols denote different media, including folders, placemarks, polygons and photos.
  • Click on the blue underlined label to read the description (note: this does not physically take you to the location)
  • Descriptions may have hyperlinks which, one clicked, will automatically open in an internet browser inside Google Earth. Return to Google Earth by clicking button in upper-left corner, “Back to Google Earth.”
  • Clicking check-boxes will make media appear and/or disappear on the map.
  • Tours will be labeled with a small video camera. Double-click on the camera to begin the tour. The tour will begin automatically, however play controls are located to the lower left.

Using the left-hand panel “Layers”

  • Google Earth automatically checks several layers. For simplified viewing, check only “Borders and Labels.”
  • Maximize viewing space on the left-hand panel by clicking the upside-down triangle next to the name, “Layers;” this will hide that section.

Basics tips to easily navigate and explore Google Earth

  • Use your mouse to navigate OR the controls location in the upper right hand corner of the map.
  • When viewing multimedia/video, it’s recommended to click the “Open in…” button on upper-right corner to open multimedia/video in external browser.
  • Remember to have volume turned on to hear presentation’s audio narration.
  • For more information and for helpful tutorials, see Google’s help site

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