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London 2012: Arts Council names commissions for 'Space'

By Jenny Minard
BBC 2012

image captionJohn Peel's record collection will appear in The Space (Pictured here in 1970)

Shakespeare's Globe and the John Peel Centre have been confirmed as organisations involved in a new digital project as part of London 2012.

The Space - a multi-platform initiative - was launched to showcase some of the best digital art works in the country.

It has commissioned 53 projects to be broadcast on computers, mobiles, tablet computers and internet-connected TVs.

The British Film Institute will also get involved and provide films, some of which have not been seen before.

Run by Arts Council England and the BBC, the aim is to build the digital skills and capability of the sector in the run-up to the Olympics.

"The Space will stimulate a dramatic step change in skills development, creative learning and collaboration," Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England said.

"It will inspire a great generosity of spirit among the participating organisations, with each of them committed to documenting and sharing the journey they all are taking together."

The Arts Council is spending £3.5m on the project and the BBC is developing technological solutions and providing mentoring and training development.

Really special

"What excites us so much about The Space is the chance to unite the BBC's tradition of technical innovation with our commitment to partnership and the arts," Roly Keating, BBC Director of Archive Content said.

"By bringing together the complementary skills of BBC and Arts Council in this ambitious way we believe we can make something really special happen to celebrate 2012's unique summer of arts."

Currently only 4% of the organisations funded by the Arts Council are creating high quality digital content for a variety of platforms.

Successful applicants to the scheme include Shakespeare's Globe - which will showcase all 37 of Shakespeare's plays performed by 37 different international theatre companies.

The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts will recreate the legendary radio DJ's home studio with his personal notes and personal record collection - producing an interactive online museum.

And Tom Morris, the artistic director of Bristol Old Vic who directed the theatre version of War Horse, will attempt to replicate the emotional experience of watching live performance using techniques developed at the BBC Natural History Unit.

Other commissions include a video postcard wall, 25 new films from the Tate Gallery and a multi-media live performance of Stockhausen's Helicopter Strong Quartet from the Birmingham Opera Company.

In total, of the 53 commissioned works, 21 are in London and the rest shared between the other English regions.

However Arts Council England is in talks about involving their counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and said it was hopeful that content will be available from around the UK.

More than 700 organisations expressed an interest in being involved in The Space with 111 making the final shortlist.

More on this story

  • Arts Council and BBC create Space

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