I wrote this post for Life | Art | Us on 7 June 2011. Click on the link at the bottom to read the full post.
On the Saturday of FutureEverything 11, I tripped over an interesting discussion organised by CODA, about the state of media art UK. As well as talking about the impact of recent funding cuts and the concerning number of media art organisations that had lost out, the group also talked proactively about how people and organisations active in the UK media art movement might work better together in the future, to improve the visibilty and understanding of media arts practice in the UK, and create a stronger voice for media art, particularly amongst policy makers and funders.
About the UK media art ecology
The UK media art ecology is fascinating and made up of many elements. It includes policy makers who provide funding and guidelines that help to shape the ecology at a strategic level, commissioning agencies who fund creative activity, arts and digital practitioners who make stuff, museums, galleries and other kinds of agencies (public and private) who show stuff, audiences who go and see stuff, academics, historians, journalists and critics who talk about work and broader trends, and education institutions who invest in the development of future practitioners, curators, creative producers, funders, critics and policy makers.
Image from Furtherfield’s Rich Networking event
A strong and vibrant creative ecology needs a good mix of all of these elements in order to thrive, it also needs these elements to work well together. Sadly, one of the biggest challenges facing media art UK is that the balance of these elements is quite skewed, particularly in terms of commissioning new work, and this has only become more acute as a result of recent funding cuts. Another challenge facing the UK media arts movement is that it’s fragmented, and it has been for quite some time. I’ll come back to this a little bit later.
Read this post in full – It’s been a really tough year, but what’s next for media art UK?.
I wrote this post for Life | Art | Us on 15 May 2011. Click on the link at the bottom to read the full post.
Liz Turner from iconomical has been involved in some really quite good public service open data projects in the last few years, including Where does my money go?, Research funding explorer and the London Gazette.
Graph showing public spending trends: Where does my money go?
Each of these projects ticks the boxes of a good open data project. They make non-personal public information more accessible online, they visualise data to make it easier to understand and they enable audiences to interrogate data in different ways and find out more. You can drill down into the detail of specific data sets (say, by a topic or region), you can look at broader trends over time and you can filter data to find out more about a specific interest area.
A voyage of discovery
Liz says that when you’re dealing with large volumes of data and opening it up, such as public spending accounts or public transport data, one of the most exciting things is that you never quite know what you’re going to find. So, these kind of projects are always in part, a voyage of discovery and data owners and audiences have to be prepared to find surprises along the way. Sounds interesting right?
Read this post in full: Transparency and open data is great, but is it enough?
I wrote this post for Life | Art | Us on 11 May 2011. Click on the link at the bottom to read the full post.
So, it must be that time of year again. I’m on the train up to Manchester to get my annual dose of all things art-tech at FutureEverything 2011. The countryside is whizzing past the window, Talking Heads are on the ipod and I’m attempting to catch up with the gazillion emails in my in-box from FutureEverything HQ.
What am I looking forward to?
The art programme is generally my first point of call when it comes to FutureEverything and this year the theme of the central exhibition explores a new area of creative practice that I wrote quite a lot about last year on the Axis blog – art and data. Entitled Data Dimension, this year’s exhibition explores how artists and designers are approaching the immaterial world of data. Sounds good to me.
Read this post in full – The train to FutureEverything 2011.
I wrote this post for Life | Art | Us on 19 December 2010. Click on the link at the bottom to read the full post.
I came across this wonderful news story over the festive period via the New Scientist blogs, and thought I’d share it here. It’s about the oldest known computer, a relic dating back 2000 years and rediscovered at the bottom of the ocean. Now designer Andrew Carol has brought it back to life – using Lego.
Read this post in full – World’s oldest computer recreated in Lego.
I wrote this post for InterventTech on 10 May 2010. Click on the link at the bottom to read the full post.
BLOG EXTRACT – Hello everyone. I thought I’d do a quick post to let you know that I’ve been invited along as the official blogger for FutureEverything 2010 (formally Futuresonic) by axis.
Axis is an online resource for information about contemporary art. Their website
FutureArt & FutureEverything blog on Tumblr
features profiles of professional artists and curators, interviews, discussions, art news, debates and showcases the artists to watch.
My blog for the Festival this year is called FutureArt & FutureEverything. You can find it on Tumblr and it will be pulled through to the axis webzine area soon.
Read this post in full | Blogging for FutureEverything 2010.