Jun 13 2014, 6:38am CDT | by Forbes
In another proofpoint the creative economy is not banished to the sidelines, null
The Space, is a new London creative online platform to showcase new digital art and is backed by several renowned artists like David Hockney, whose recent art was created all on an iPad; Al Weiwei, Chinese contemporary artist and dissident; and, tech legend, Tim Berners-Lee, opened its doors today in London with the backing of tech stars from around the world in addition to the artist line up.
To kick off The Space, they are hosting an Art Hack called null . The idea is to bring together artists whose medium is technology and hackers whose medium is art to inspire new forms of creativity. More than 140 creative people from across the UK are expected to take part over the 24 hours of the hack to create new works.
The focal point of the hack-a-thon is to take data and turn it into a work of art. Hackers will have access to a number of unusual data sets from the Tate, Open Data Institute, Guardian including the interactive digital work of Olafur Eliasson and Ai Weiwei iconic Moon for use as creative input towards the development of new works of art from hackers.
So, what does a local, artist turned technologist turned entrepreneur think about The Space?
“Great to have The Space recognise the digital world as a viable artistic medium. A medium that empowers our creativity beyond audiences reacting to the works, by allowing the works themselves to react to us, engaging us at a deeper level than ever before,” commented Guy Armitage, Founder of Zealous, one of the first online platforms for artists. (see Zealous Plans to Save the Economy with Creativity, Forbes, May 2013)
Armitage has been an outspoken advocate for the creative economy and the arts and turned that passion into Zealous which was founded in 2012 and today has more than 4463 artists on the platform. As both an artist and technologist (coder and Artificial Intelligence) Armitage says that data is just another form of inspiration.
“null , only great things can come of such a powerful coupling,” Armitage told Forbes. “The invention of the film camera shifted our understanding of the arts; opening up a world of opportunity. The web will be no different.”
While The Space is for digital artists only, Zealous is for artists of all stripes and colors. But, any focus on and backing of the arts shows the power of the creative economy which is worth £71.4 billion per year to the UK economy according to a report by the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The same report noted the creative industry outperformed all other sectors of UK industry in 2012 and accounted for 1.68 million jobs in 2012, which is about 5.6 per cent of UK jobs.
null - Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and co-founder of the Open Data Institute
Aaron Koblin, Creative Director of Google's Data Arts Team and himself a digital artist said he’s excited to see the concept of digital art being challenged and hopes The Space will further bridge the gap between art and technology.
“null Together they’re helping to define a new digital world,” said Koblin, ”Hopefully The Space will give a voice and platform to artists and technologists from around the world and foster some amazing collaborations between the worlds to bring them even closer together.”
The Art Hack will also launch The Space’s first Open Call which is designed to find new talent and commission the most original work by artists from any art form, creative industry, cultural, technical or digital background. These works would then be commissioned into fully developed art works for The Space. Open Call is open to anyone over 18 years old anywhere in the world. The first Open Call closes on July 11, 2014.
The Space was founded through a partnership between the BBC and Arts Council England as well as other partners like the Open Data Institute, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Arts Council Wales, British Council and Creative Scotland.
And, being true to their mission of art, tech and digital innovation, one of the opening performances at The Space is a special commissions of a play performed live in a Google Hangout by actors in three cities on the same longitude line.
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