Digital Art Live

October 2010 – Ongoing.

Digital Art Live (Auckland Live and Colab Partnership)

Colab has a long standing partnership with Auckland Live based around the Digital Art Live Project. This is one example of how we have successfully facilitated collaboration with like-minded industry bodies to forge mutually beneficial relationships. For more than five years the Digital Art Live (DAL) partnership has supported an innovative public interactive art programme, the development of capability, and a community of practice.

Background:

Auckland Live is the largest performing arts, commercial entertainment and convention facility in Auckland, centred on the Aotea Centre, Aotea Square, the Auckland Town Hall and The Civic Theatre. Auckland Live engages in a range of programmes that encourage community participation in performing arts, in addition to working with local and international arts companies to produce a range of arts ventures.

Auckland Live approached Colab for advice on setting up and curating a programme of interactive art for their new digital interactive screen in the Owens Foyer of the Aotea Centre. The principle aim of the programme, called Digital Art Live was to present dynamic screen-based interactive artworks. Bronwyn Bent (Producer – Public Programmes at Auckland Live) says:

“Working with Colab was an obvious choice for us. They’re leading the way in this area in NZ,” says Bronwyn, “We have never worked in this area before, we didn’t know where to start in terms of approaching artists, whereas Colab has those relationships already, which has helped get this underway quickly.”

The project further strengthens the relationship between Auckland Live and AUT University, and enables Auckland Live to access technical and artistic expertise, and the critical thinking that people in the academic realm bring to the project. For artists it is an opportunity exhibit in a public space, in a permanent programme, rather than a one-off show or in an institution.

Together, it will be possible to foster a close relationship between artists working with interactive technology and this new venue, increasing the pool of artists and raising awareness of this kind of work in the art world, the wider creative sector, and the community.

Bronwyn Bent (Producer – Public Programmes at Auckland Live) says:

“For us, the interactive screen is about us expanding and growing and challenging ourselves to do something new. We like to benchmark ourselves against arts centres internationally, who often work closely with visual arts communities, although not necessarily on interactive work like this.”

The Project:
Significant attributes of the Owen’s Foyer, where the screen is placed, are that it is not gallery space, neither is it static space or simply a thoroughfare. People gather and move through the space during the day and evening, particularly when there are performances or events in the main theatre, and during the family programme on weekends. Bronwyn says:

“It’s exciting because it is a whole new area of art practice that we haven’t engaged with before, and there is no other public space like that in New Zealand. There is potential for collaboration between performing artists and visual artists, and there’s the audience participation aspect as well, because it’s an interactive space, so we are really interested to see what will come of that.”

For artists it is an opportunity exhibit in a public space, in a permanent programme, rather than a one-off show or in an institution. And importantly for Auckland Live, the Digital Interactive Screen allows for crossover between performance and visual art.


Benefits to Auckland Live:

Colab was ideally placed to support Auckland Live with this project:

“Working with Colab was a really obvious choice for us. They’re leading the way in this area in NZ,” says Bronwyn, “We have never worked in this area before, we didn’t know where to start in terms of approaching artists, whereas Colab has those relationships already, which has helped get this underway quickly.”

The project further strengthens the relationship between Auckland Live and AUT University, and enables Auckland Live to access technical and artistic expertise, and the critical thinking that academics bring to the project.

Outcomes:
The digital screen and its associated technology has been up and running since February 2011, when it debuted some works that were part of the Auckland Fringe Festival. DAL coordinator Nolwenn Hugain-LacIre was appointed in April 2011, to curate and administrate the programme with continuing input and support from Colab. Staff from Auckland Live and Colab are involved in testing and troubleshooting during the development and set up stages of new projects. While the DAL project has involved a number of established digital artists and co-operatives, it has also worked to build greater capability in this area by supporting collaborations between artists new to interactivity. Colab and Auckland Live have also run public workshops and symposia to help develop greater awareness about interactivity and new technologies.

Future Collaboration:
There is much scope for future collaboration between Auckland Live and Colab, including the establishment of an interactive artists meet up and linking with other venues to present  interactive work across multiple sites. Together, it will be possible to foster a close relationship between artists working with interactive technology  increasing the ‘pool’ of artists and raising awareness of this kind of work in the art world, the wider creative sector, and the community.

www.aucklandlive.co.nz

https://colab.aut.ac.nz/dal/

https://colab.aut.ac.nz/projects/digital-art-live/

Images