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“DiGen Art” Unveiled: Lebanon's First Gallery Champions the Digital Art Movement in Inaugural Exhibition

Digital art is firmly established and enduring, according to Lebanese art experts Alex Rayes and Camille Hajjar, founders of the groundbreaking "DiGen Art" gallery in Beirut. This venture, believed to be the first of its kind in Lebanon, mirrors the founders' belief in the possibilities and widespread accessibility of digital art, including AI-generated imagery and virtual reality. These facets have played a substantial role in shaping the art market in recent years.

Rayes, a digital art collector, underlined that the goal of the gallery is to present and investigate cutting-edge technologies and artistic trends. By organizing carefully curated exhibitions that include live coding performances, workshops, and discussions, they aim to stimulate dialogues, promote exploration, and highlight the convergences between art, technology, and cultural heritage.

The concept was sparked by a perceived void in the cultural landscape. Rayes noted the emergence of digital art galleries in the US and Europe but observed a lack of such initiatives in the Middle East. This realization prompted the establishment of "DiGen Art" to share the excitement for digital art with the region and provide a space for experimental learning.

Equipped with a curated library, specialized screens for digital art display, and an interactive projector display, the gallery is strategically located near the American University of Beirut to pique students' interest. The founders hope their programming will debunk preconceptions about digital art, addressing initial skepticism in the Middle East, particularly regarding AI-generated art.

According to Rayes, the gallery wants to promote conversations about how art, consciousness, and AI interact. Despite the initial skepticism, the founders are committed to creating a platform where digital art can thrive and contribute to the ongoing dialogue about the role of technology in the art world.

Hajjar underscored the gallery's dedication to presenting artworks from artists in the Arab region and worldwide. Their objective is to support local digital artists and offer them a platform to gain recognition on the global stage. The first exhibition, "<hello, Beirut!>," explores ideas of parallel realms and artificial consciousness through pieces from the owners' collections.

Looking ahead, Hajjar envisions digital art existing alongside more conventional genres while making a noteworthy name for itself as an autonomous creative movement.

She views the current art scene as a potent representation of the times, raising important issues of humanity, creativity, and consciousness in a rapidly evolving digital age.

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