Digital-oriented practice: two-year initiative explores new models of working

The Office for Art, Design and Technology is a new two-year programme of residencies, events, exhibitions and professional development for new and more established artists with digital practices. Anneka French talks to the artist leading the programme as well as artists and mentors involved in Post-Modern Plant Life 2, the recently completed first stage of the initiative.

Emily Roderick, Microscope Performance, USB microscope, Java applet and performance. Photo: Ryan Hughes

There are more networked devices talking to one another than there are people living on the planet. This global system of sensors, software and connectivity embedded in our homes, workplaces, streets and pockets – dubbed the Internet of Things – is expected to reach 50 billion operational networked devices by 2020. At this moment, then, there is a clear need for research into the possibilities for and the impact of digital on the production, distribution and interpretation of art, and of art objects in particular.

Looking to do just this is the newly launched Office for Art, Design and Technology, an amorphous two-year programme of residencies, events, exhibitions and professional development. Working outwards from a physical base in Coventry in partnership with artists and organisations in the UK and internationally, the initiative is steered by Ryan Hughes. His aim is to provide emerging and more established artists who are invested in digital with opportunities for support and exposure.

Hughes, an artist and curator based in Birmingham, also hopes to broaden audience engagement with digitally-oriented practices.

 “The office seems to me to be the contemporary space of production rather than a gallery or a studio,” he explains. “The office is also a space that seems to be corporate and this is a way to talk about digital practices and to engage new audiences with them. I think that it is a model that people can relate to.” …

Read the article in full on a-n
Published on 17 May 2016