Tag Archives: innovation

Google Cultural Institute

I went over to Paris to visit the Google Cultural Institute Lab with some work colleagues from The Place this week.

Visiting Google cultural Institute labs in ParisGreat to see their facilities and demo the gigapixel technology of the Google Art Project at large size. Zooming in to brush stroke-level detail of the classic paintings on a wall sized screen is pretty impressive.

The thing that struck me most is the focus in terms of identifying the techniques or products that have the most potential and pushing them as far as possible. The innovation of the 360 Street View cameras is still moving forward with the new 360 performing arts presentations on the Google Cultural Institute and of course the DIY VR technology of Cardboard – proudly flagged as being invented at the Lab in Paris.

We got a small insight into other areas of research, but I can’t help but be curious about what secrets might be cooking in the Lab.

 

 

Leaving a trail of pixels

…or why having artists take the lead in cultural organisations is vital.

In 2006, I launched the new digital media department for South Hill Park Arts Centre in Berkshire. Starting from an empty room, I set up the first desks, became admin for a small network of Macs, designed the programme and recruited the most talented artists I could find to deliver it.

2008: Recruited from the internet, creator of the most viewed circuit-bending videos on YouTube comes to lead our first electronic toy hacking weekend
2008: Recruited from the internet, creator of the most viewed circuit-bending videos on YouTube comes to lead our first electronic toy hacking weekend

After 8 years of developing the programme, bringing artists and innovative producers to the venue, creating projects, conferences, festivals and partnerships to reach out to new audiences, I left with a great archive of photos, videos and audio as a document, and a tonne of valuable experiences.

For the most part, venue staff were bemused by the early days of their digital arts department. Marketing staff were reserved about assisting with promotion because they “didn’t know anything about this digital stuff“.  Arts funding bodies could see something interesting was going on, but didn’t have the vocabulary to assess what the activity was delivering. Film funding organisations, bound by their own bureaucracy refused to help, as the moving image work was led by “artists” not “film makers“.

These days, the funding organisations have  largely caught up, and are readily supporting culture organisations who are leading innovation in digital.

Continue reading Leaving a trail of pixels