DIGITAL DEMOCRACIES, 2020-2022
A PIONEERING TWO-YEAR NATIONAL PUBLIC ART PROJECT
Project: "Digital Democracies"
Project leaders: Frequency Festival in Lincoln (Produced by Threshold Studios), Hull Freedom Festival (Produced by Freedom Festival Arts Trust) and Brighton Digital Festival (Produced by Lighthouse and Brandwatch).
Co-commissioned and co-produced by Lighthouse.
Part of: Arts Council England funding programme
ABOUT THE PROJECT
In a time of unprecedented reliance on digital technology to connect people, a pioneering two-year national public art project Digital Democracies is being launched. Connecting three of the UK’s leading art and digital culture commissioning festivals, Digital Democracies will pioneer the development of democratic and innovative digital work online and in public outdoor spaces, helping to welcome audiences back to our shared civic spaces following the coronavirus pandemic.
The two-year development programme will create opportunities for art and technology to intersect in a reinvention of the civic and social role of public space. Facilitating and establishing partnerships for the testing of new ideas and work, the project will include community workshops, technology masterclasses and tools to inspire new approaches to making art. New commissions will then be showcased to audiences in the public realm, both online and offline, through an extended network of partners and collaborators across the UK.
Our public spaces and the people that animate them are the engines for both place-making and community development, and the crucible where our individual and collective identities are forged. Through diverse multi agency partnerships Digital Democracies explores the possibilities of the place- making agenda to increase positive social impact and innovation.
ABOUT THE FESTIVALS
Frequency Festival is a biennial international digital culture festival in Lincoln, UK. Produced by Threshold Studios, in partnership with the University of Lincoln and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The event is driven by a dynamic city-wide collaboration of public sector organisations along with support from the business community. The festival embodies the pioneering spirit of digital innovation; sparking debates on digital culture, nurturing talent within the creative industries, and inspiring the digital creative in us all.
Freedom Festival Arts Trust is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2013 to deliver Hull's annual Freedom Festival and an in-year programme of work. Freedom Festival celebrates, through artistic and cultural expression, Hull’s independent spirit and historic contribution to the cause of freedom. The festival, together with its related year-round programme, is Hull’s premier festival event, growing out of the 2007 William Wilberforce commemorations to become the highlight of the city’s artistic and cultural programme. The programme – featuring street theatre, visual arts, theatre, circus, talks and debates, music, spoken word, dance and more – in which the concept of ‘freedom’ is consistently articulated, is aimed at a wide audience, bringing renowned national and international artists to Hull while providing significant opportunities for local and regional artists.
Brighton Digital Festival
Since 2011 Brighton Digital Festival has produced an annual programme of events, taking place over four weeks across the city. The festival celebrates the richness of the creative and cultural industries in our city and explores the ways in which digital technology continues to shape our lives and our thinking. It supports the community to produce an open programme of independent events augmented by high- quality commissioned arts and education programming.
ABOUT THE COMMISSION
Digital Democracies is the first commissioning consortium of its kind in the UK, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Threshold Studios, Freedom Festival Arts Trust and Lighthouse through their partners and funders.
The project is supported by Place Partners: University of Lincoln, University of Brighton, Hull Libraries, Centre for Culture and Creativity, City of Lincoln Council, Lincoln BIG and NN Contemporary Art Northampton; as well as esteemed Tech Partners: the digital consumer intelligence company Brandwatch, along with hubs for digital innovation Lincoln Science and Innovation Park, C4Di Hull and Wired Sussex.