Working with Benedict Phillips and Glenn Boulter, we developed Digital Media Labs [digitalmedialabs.org], a process whereby a residential media lab creates a new way of commissioning digital art. Please have a read of the booklet from the project below:
The idea was to give 10 nominated artists (nominated by regional art institutions, commissioners and festivals) who weren’t necessarily from technical backgrounds the time, equipment and space to experiment with technology. This term of play is to happen in a dedicated residential environment supported by a team of inspiring teachers, experts and speakers.
Only after this week of experimentation is over, will the artists (and only these artists) be presented with a brief for the commission.
The first lab took place in Hull in 2010 centered on the use of touch screen technology – see below for more details. we are now in the final stages of the production of the commissions. The will be installed in September 2011 for the launch of the Wilberforce Health Centre.
The Lab in Hull
About the Digital Media Lab
Digital Media Labs offered ten chosen artists a week-long residency as part of a commissioning process for a touch screen art work for the new multi-million pound NHS Hull Wilberforce Health Centre. This commission and Lab will be a key part of their innovative and ambitious arts programme for the new city centre multi-use building.
Future Everything, FACT, Folly, MAAP, Hull Film, QUAD and Hull School of Art and Design were asked to nominate up to three artists, from this selection ten artists were selected by the DM Lab team and the NHS to participate in our residential Media Lab, where they explored new ways of working with touch screen technologies. The residency was led by the Digital Media Labs team and the awesome Ben Dalton – an expert in the field of visual arts and digital technology.
About the Digital Media Lab and Commission
The residential Media Lab brought together a mixed community of artists, designers and programmers in a dedicated environment. The focus of the residency was on experimentation and exploration. It provided time, space and equipment for resident artists to be able to learn, develop and experiment with the technology. The intention was to give the artists 7 days hands on, research and development with the support of professional technologists leading to the interim exhibition showcasing the results of the lab.
The culmination of Media Lab gave the opportunity for the artists to present and discuss their work at a dedicated presentation. Following the presentation of works the participating ten artists, and only these artists, were presented with the commission brief for a site-specific touch screen artwork and invited to submit a proposal.
It is key to the philosophy of Digital Media Labs that the actual presentation of the commission brief will not presented to participants till the period of lab and experimentation had taken place.