The Space, the experimental digital arts service developed by Arts Council England and the BBC, is applying to the BBC Trust for approval to be re-launched in Spring/Summer 2014 as a dynamic new space for artists and audiences to invent and explore brilliant digital art.
In a planned three year agreement between the Arts Council and the BBC, announced today (Tuesday 8 October) by BBC Director General Tony Hall, and subject to approval by the BBC Trust, The Space will build on the success of the pilot which tested and broke new ground in delivering digital art and experiences to the public. It will offer a place for the growing digital audience to see and interact with great new digital art, live, free and on-demand, and provide an ‘R&D Lab’ for new and established artists to develop innovative and ambitious digital projects.
Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: “The launch of The Space pilot in May 2012 heralded the start of an experimental journey with the BBC, artists and arts organisations to explore the creative potential of new digital platforms for the UK and cultural sector. Some truly wonderful work was made and we know there is potential for more.
“It’s at the heart of both organisations’ mission to make great art and culture happen and to make this content available to everyone. We are looking forward together to building on the lessons learnt from the pilot, and deliver an even more innovative, dynamic and interactive digital Space that will be fun for both audiences and artists alike”.
BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: “This is an exciting moment for Arts Council England and the BBC. I know this is going to have a profound impact on arts in this country. We want to support a new generation of talent – and I’m really looking forward to seeing artists surprise and delight us all on The Space. We had great success when we ran the pilot together last year and I felt passionately then that it was something we needed to develop”.
The Space aims to produce new talent and content which other cultural organisations and BBC platforms will want to pick up and showcase. Artists and arts organisations will have the opportunity to submit work through a rolling programme of Open Calls, starting in early 2014, which will encourage new and emerging talent, as well as established artists, to develop their big idea.
Artists will also be supported by associate partners from the cultural, broadcasting and digital world. Conversations are already underway with Creative Scotland and Arts Council partners in Northern Ireland and Wales, as well as the British Council and the British Film Institute.
Alongside the Open Calls, The Space will co-commission large, ambitious digital projects with cultural organisations, creative industry and arts partners, broadcasters, digital commissioners and commissioners within the BBC. A whole range of arts organisations, large and small, are ready to work with The Space to create new commissions. Those who have, in principle, signed up are:
The Space will be run as a joint venture between Arts Council England and the BBC, operated independently by The Space CIC – a Community Interest Company whose current Directors have been appointed from within the Arts Council and the BBC. It will have an independent chair with independent members to be appointed to join the members representing the Arts Council and the BBC.
The current Space pilot service will come to an end on 31 October and from 1 November, all current content on The Space will be taken down.