In Experimental Culture (March 2018), Nesta stated that: “Digital technologies, with their potential to lower the costs of production and enhance access to the arts and culture across a range of channels, have been championed as a means of democratising the supply and demand for arts and culture. In parallel fields, such as music, video games, television and film, digital disruption has led to wholesale changes in audience behaviours. However, arts and cultural organisations - in the main, still rooted in physical venues, artefacts or in-person performances - have been largely immune to these shocks.”
In a world of change, the role of culture becomes a vital force, and the use of a myriad of technologies integrated into practise should be the norm for audiences who increasingly augment their experiences through different platforms.
But how do you know your AI from your AR? When is it XR and when is it VR? Mobile, web, online and offline. YouTube or NOWNESS? Creating and distributing new work in this new world is daunting.
In an era in which digital consumption of cultural content is ever-increasing, arts and cultural organisations will have to navigate how platforms and aggregators help them reach audiences.
As Alexa and Siri predict and anticipate our behaviour and needs, like Twitter and Google news use AI and machine learning to curate news content to our devices that become increasingly relational with use and with Google Assistant now able to make calls for you, our demands as audiences will mean our expectations of the cultural experiences will rise exponentially.
And in an online world where Ofcom’s ‘Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes.’ Report (2017) noted that the UK’s 18-24 age group spends an average of 35.2 hours a week online, how do you stand out from the crowd?
Hello Culture Remix: MCR @BBC Digital Cities gave arts organisations and artists a chance to hear from those who have experienced the highs and lows of digital content creation. It was an opportunity to cut out the white noise of change and reflect on how they can best integrate digital content into their programming, learning how platforms and aggregators can help them reach new audiences.
Hello Culture Remix: MCR took delegates from concept and content creation through to engagement and distribution, giving arts organisations the opportunity to optimise their digital relationships and platforms for the next generation of digital technology and digital audiences.
Mainstream video platforms like YouTube, and niche arts platforms like NOWNESS and Marquee provide access to potentially large audiences, but how will the commercial value thereby created be divided between the platforms and the arts organisations? How can arts and cultural organisations optimise their relationship with the platforms for the next generation of technologies, like VR or AR? What new forms of partnership and collaborations will best serve the needs of the sector?
“Manchester, Manchester so much to answer for..”2
Media City’s unique position as an international hub for technology, innovation and creativity presents Manchester with significant creative interdisciplinary opportunities. With Media City home to the likes of the BBC, ITV, Ericsson, dock10 and Kellogg’s, and complemented by more than 250 smaller media and digital businesses, as well as a diverse range of cultural organisations and artists across the Greater Manchester region.
Hello Culture Remix: MCR created a platform whereby northwestern arts organisations can explore what digital means to them and provide them with both the thinking and the practicalities as to how to transform their cultural production and audience engagement.
The day demonstrated the opportunities offered by digital content creation and the synergies presented by the physical co-location Manchester and Media City has, which can catalyse creative and cultural collaborations across arts, technology, media and broadcast through a digital lens.