"Fresh Meat for Critique 2021" continues the tradition established in 2019 by presenting the graduation works of every Art Academy of Latvia's bachelor's and master's degree graduate to a wider audience. As the Academy's studies are taking place amidst the pandemic and all its restrictions for the second year, the works of the graduates are shown in a virtual exhibition – specially designed digital platform VirtuAAL.lma.lv. Each artwork of a new artist contains a base idea, a manifest, an origin, a need to express themselves through their art and, in a way, to break out. The age of this pandemic with its restrictions and altered reality has emphasized this need, therefore, the theme of this virtual exhibition is BREAKING OUT.
The Art Academy of Latvia keeps up with the times and development of technologies; their visual art studies have long offered both classical arts, and modern, technology-oriented arts that prepare professional design, multi-media, and visual communication artists.
Altogether, more than a hundred new artists from all departments of the Art Academy introduce themselves, the results of their creative processes, and the environment in which they studied to the public. This is the third time that the Art Academy of Latvia hosts a new artists' exhibition of this scale.
A special novelty this year is the collaboration between the Art Academy of Latvia and the language technology company Tilde that has provided the possibility to listen to the catalogued descriptions of authors, their ideas and creative process. The descriptions will be recognized and synthesized by "Tilde Voice", a solution created with the newest artificial intelligence technologies, which allows the Art Academy of Latvia to take part in community integration.
Speech synthesis technologies allow a written text to be spoken out loud. These technologies are most necessary for visually impaired people and people with cognitive impairments, as they allow them to use applications, search the web, communicate via e-mail, and comprehend written information. In the fast-paced modern internet environment, the synthesized speech feature will also allow the visitors of this virtual exhibition to leisurely view the artworks while listening to their descriptions.
All the represented artists have already presented their bachelor's and master's graduation works, and it can be said that this exhibition has allowed many of them to appear before the public as professional artists for the first time.