First alt.barbican arts accelerator launches today, encompassing work across artificial intelligence, radio manipulation, wearable tech and more.
The Barbican and The Trampery today launch alt.barbican and announce the inaugural cohort of five artists selected for the major new accelerator for innovative artists working at the intersection of art and technology. 

Over 230 practitioners applied to the programme and the selected artists, Dries Depoorter, Henry Driver, Jasmine Johnson,Ling Tan and Magz Hall were all asked to respond to the theme of ‘the subversion of reality’ with proposals for a broad range of projects including mobile apps, projection mapping, voice manipulation and wearable technology; exploring subjects as diverse as privacy and surveillance, body image, representations of gender and globalisation. 

Delivered in partnership with MUTEK, the British Council, and the the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio, alt.barbican is a response to an increasingly fluid creative landscape. As new technologies open up previously unimagined expressive possibilities, alt.barbican’s six-month programme presents a new model of artistic support, drawing from entrepreneurial startup culture, to help emerging artists develop their careers. 

Sidd Khajuria, Senior Producer at the Barbican said: 
“The launch of alt.barbican attracted a huge number of exciting applications from artists whose work bridges multiple disciplines, across the worlds of technology, business, and the arts. The quality of these applicants is testament to the breadth and diversity of work happening in this growing area. 

The Barbican’s vision is ‘arts without boundaries’ and it’s vital that we – as a cross-arts centre – continue to support these emerging areas of practice. Selecting just five applicants was a challenge but I’m thrilled with the first cohort of artists and can’t wait to see how they progress over the next six months and take their careers to the next level.” 

Charles Armstrong, Founder of The Trampery said: 
“We are hugely excited to kick off the inaugural alt.barbican programme with five such talented artists. They not only have incredibly dynamic and diverse practices, but are also pioneering the use of new technologies outside of the usual applications within art practice. 

We will be borrowing skills and ideas from the startup world to deliver a programme which encourages an entrepreneurial mindset as well as providing access to tools to help make their practices more sustainable. We look forward to seeing what magic happens as the cohort join the existing creative community at The Trampery Republic.” 

The selected artists are: 

Dries Depoorter is a media artist with a background in electronics, whose work explores the internet’s place in society and the impact it has on the fields of privacy, identity and surveillance. Current projects include:
  • Get Popular Vending Machin e - a vending machine full of scratch tickets where you can win up to 25.000 fake followers for you Instagram or Twitter account.
  • Seattle Crime Cams – an installation which displays the live video streams of traffic cameras in Seattle located near the most recent phone call to the police, soundtracked by live police radio communications.
  • Trophy Camera - an artificial intelligence powered camera that’s been trained by every previous World Press Photo winning picture, and will only save photos that match 'award winning' criteria.
Dries Depoorter said: “I already work with businesses in all sorts of sectors so I'm hugely excited about surrounding myself with experts from outside of my field and pushing the boundaries of what I do.” 

Henry Driver: Employing photography, film, digitally generated imagery, games design and sculpture, Henry’s work is concerned with the speed at which technology is developing, shaping and increasingly dominating our lives. He has exhibited both internationally including at Channels Video Art Festival in Melbourne and Ikono on Air Festival in Berlin, and at Tate Liverpool and Tate Britain. Projects include: 
  • Second Skin - a hybrid virtual/physical experience utilising complex projection mapping onto sculpture. The overlapping of digital and physical elements leads to the audience being unable to define where the digital world ends and the physical one begins.
Henry Driver said: “It’s fantastic to be given the opportunity to work with such an amazing selection of partners. I cannot wait to get started and see what work or collaborations might ensue.” 

Magz Hall explores the artistic potential of radio and its use outside of conventional settings. Projects include: 
  • Gendered Voice – a sound work and installation, concerned with representations of a gendered voice, addressing issues of what is a female voice. The work uses binaural recordings of vocal exercises employed to change the pitch and tone of a voice. It will be heard via brightly coloured radio baseball hats inspired by radio hats from the mid-20th century.
Magz Hall said: "I love thinking out of the box, experimenting with the endless possibilities presented when working with technology. As such, I'm delighted to participate in alt.barbican and forge brand new links with all the parties involved." 

Jasmine Johnson : Primarily works with video as well as digitally generated imagery, binaural audio and installation to craft increasingly ambitious portraits of globally dispersed individuals. Projects include: 
  • A Perfect Instrument (Kristina) - a film following the well-known Lithuanian actress Kristina Savickyt ė over a day of teaching and learning in workshops and rehearsals. Filmed in various locations in Vilnius, the historic city sandwiched between East and West, the video explores the extent to which both an individual and a place must bend and perform for shifting contexts.
  • Thieves and Swindlers are not allowed in Paradise - an enigmatic portrait of a collector of naïve Russian art, merging an intricately realised computer generated environment with film.
Jasmine Johnson said: “I am really looking forward to starting the programme which offers a more fluid landscape between the contexts of art, technology, theatre and entrepreneurship. As the scope and scale of my work becomes more ambitious it is invaluable for me to be able to learn from these divergent models." 

Ling Tan: Designer, maker and coder who trained as an architect and is interested in how people interact with the built environment and wearable technology. She was part of the Umbrellium team, known for their large scale participatory events, who presented work at the Barbican in 2014 as part of Digital Revolution, a major exhibition that celebrated the transformation of the arts through digital technology. Projects include: 
  • WearAQ - an experimental project that explored how school children make sense of complex issues around air pollution and considered how we might combine our innate subjective perception and intuition with wearable technology and machine learning algorithms to investigate air quality issues.
  • Transformer - a social experiment and a game of strategy in which people compete and cooperate to collect resources in complete darkness, aided by a suit of wearable sensors. The game encourages people to question how technology can help or hinder them in making sense of themselves and the people around them.

Ling Tang said: “I am very much looking forward to the opportunities to showcase my work within the programme and to the potential to carve out my own niche as a wearable designer/artist with an architectural point of view to how people interact with the built environment, and my interest in working within citizen-centric agenda.” 

During the alt.barbican programme the five artists will be introduced to experts in enterprise and learning who will lead workshops on networking, pitching and presenting. Other sessions will cover fundraising, working internationally and audience development, led by the likes of the British Council and Arts Council England respectively. 

In August the five artists will take their work to MUTEK, the Montreal-based festival of electronic music and digital creativity. Artists will also be given the opportunity to apply to an alt.barbican commissioning fund of £7,500 to realise a major piece or body of work in the Barbican’s public spaces. 

alt.barbican marks the next stage in the ongoing partnership between the Barbican and workspace innovators The Trampery. The first collaboration, Hack the Barbican in August 2013, saw the Barbican’s public spaces taken over by a community of 300 people including artists, scientists, hackers and teachers. The experiment resulted in 100 inter-disciplinary installations, workshops, events and performances,. 

The Barbican and The Trampery collaborated again in 2014 and 2015 to create Fish Island Labs, a unique centre to kick start the careers of emerging talent using technology to define new fields of creativity. Established as a key arts space in Hackney Wick, it was home to a diverse community of emerging practitioners, and led to Interfaces in August 2015, a vibrant showcase across the Barbican’s public spaces of experimental work created by resident artists. 

Interfaces Monthly is the Barbican and The Trampery’s monthly event where artists and designers present cutting edge work, offer insight into production strategies and digital techniques, and foster dialogue with the audience. The aim of these talks is to explore new ways of working and to bring those embracing multi-disciplinary and digital creativity across the fine art, commercial and design worlds together. Interfaces Monthly is hosted in rotation at Barbican, The Trampery Old Street and The Trampery Republic. 

 
ENDS 

Notes to Editors  

Images of the artists and their artworks are available for download here 

For all the latest alt.barbican news follow: #altbarbican 

Press Information:
For further information or to arrange interviews contact:

Sagar Shah, Communications Officer, +44 207 382 7321, sagar.shah@barbican.org.uk

John Kelly, Communications Assistant, +44 207 382 2389, john.kelly@barbican.org.uk

Tori Dance, Head of Communications, The Trampery, +44 7862704087, tori@thetrampery.com 

Public information
Box office: 0845 120 7511

Barbican newsroom

All Barbican Centre press releases, news announcements and the Media Relations team’s contact details are listed on our website at www.barbican.org.uk/news/home 
 
About the Barbican

A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Its creative learning programme further underpins everything it does. Over 1.1 million people attend events annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite. The architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, The Pit, Cinemas One, Two and Three, Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory , conference facilities and three restaurants. The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre. 

The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra ; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra ; Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia , Associate Producer Serious , and Artistic Partner Create . Our Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment , Cheek by Jowl , Deborah Warner, Drum Works and Michael Clark Company . International Associates are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam , New York Philharmonic , Los Angeles Philharmonic , Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and Jazz at Lincoln Center

Find us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube 

About The Trampery

The Trampery is a specialist in strategy, design and management for innovation facilities; founded by sociologist and entrepreneur Charles Armstrong. Since opening Tech City's first startup workspace in 2009 The Trampery has developed eight acclaimed buildings in London and launched a string of sector-focused incubators spanning software, fashion, digital arts and travel. 

In 2016 The Trampery undertook its first urban planning project, master-planning a new innovation district for the city of Oslo by appointment of the Norwegian government. In 2018 The Trampery will launch Fish Island Village, the first creative-focused integrated development of its kind in the UK. Over six acres the complex will provide everything creative professionals need to live and work; a village for creativity. 

The Trampery is a social enterprise, our partners include the Barbican and London & Partners, our patron is HRH the Duke of York. 

Twitter @thetrampery

Instagram: @thetrampery 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. 

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government. 

About Mutek

MUTEK is a Montréal-based organization dedicated to the dissemination and promotion of digital creativity and electronic music. Launched in 2000, its central platform is its annual festival in Montréal, whose 18th edition will take place from August 23 to 27, 2017. MUTEK also maintains activities around the world, including annual events in Mexico City (14th edition in 2017), Barcelona (8th edition in 2017) and recently in Tokyo. 

Conceived as a complementary event to its festival in the spring, MUTEK_IMG was introduced in autumn 2013 to highlight moving image cultures, the digital creative economy, and technological creativity in general. For Montréal’s 375th anniversary in 2017, MUTEK presents Inter_Connect Montréal, a series of four special events dedicated to hosting the cultural metropoles of Mexico City, London, Berlin, and Barcelona 

About The National Theatre

The National Theatre is dedicated to making the very best theatre and sharing it with as many people as possible. They produce productions on the South Bank in London each year, ranging from reimagined classics to modern masterpieces and new work by contemporary writers and theatre-makers. The National’s work is seen on tour throughout the UK, in London’s West End, internationally (including on Broadway) and in collaborations and co-productions with regional theatres. 

National Theatre Live, which broadcasts live performances to cinema screens internationally, is now celebrating its 7th year and has been experienced by over 5.5 million people worldwide in 200 countries. For more information, visit NTLive.com 

The Clore Learning Centre at the NT is committed to providing programmes for schools, young people, families, community groups and adult learners. The nationwide youth theatre festival Connections and playwriting competition New Views engage thousands of young people around the country. Further, over 2,200 secondary schools have signed up to the free streaming service, On Demand. In Schools since its launch in September 2015. 

About the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio

The Immersive Storytelling Studio examines how Virtual Reality (VR), 360° film, augmented reality and other emerging technologies can widen and enhance the NT’s remit to be a pioneer of dramatic storytelling and to enable an audience to stand in the shoes of another. 

The work is divided into two broad strands of activity: Homegrown, a series of projects originated entirely within the National Theatre and Partnerships, formal partnerships with creative, technical and commercial collaborators.











Press enquiries:

For further information or to arrange interviews contact: 

Sagar Shah, Communications Officer, +44 207 382 7321, sagar.shah@barbican.org.uk 

John Kelly, Communications Assistant, +44 207 382 2389, john.kelly@barbican.org.uk 

Tori Dance, Head of Communications, The Trampery, +44 7862704087, tori@thetrampery.com