Developing Talent and New Practice

Developing the next generation of talent is fundamental to the sustainability and development of our cultural sector, and for it to thrive in the future.

Digital Democracies aims to support, strengthen and invigorate digital innovation in the cultural sector through talent and skills development events and opportunities.

Committed to testing and exploring new routes for talent development, with a human-led approach, Digital Democracies Talent Development programme tested training linked to production methods, rapid prototyping and creative collaboration, as well as development of talent pipelines through education partnerships and community connection.

In 2021-2022 we collaborated with Inkibit Immersive, a female-founded, UK based collective of creatives with extensive experience in playfully and rapidly developing projects using immersive technologies.

We also work with cultural organisations, Further Education and Higher Education Institutions to develop opportunities for young creatives to engage with emerging technologies.

Get in touch to find out how we can do this for you by emailing us on digitaldemocracies@threshold.tv

Read about the past Talent Development events below.

Past Talent Development Events

virtual reality world

Collaborative Virtual Reality Co-commission with students from Grimsby Institute (Apr 2022)

Over a two-week period, students from Grimsby Institute worked with Inkibit Immersive on a Virtual Reality co-commission.

The VR co-commission was inspired by the fixed public art works, Come Follow Me by Adrian Riley and Murmuration by Annabel McCourt, in St James’ Square, Grimsby, combining oral history, living archive, people and words.

It was delivered in partnership with Our Big Picture via their Heritage Lottery funded project, in order to develop a creative brief that encouraged students to think about their relationship to the histories of place.

Students worked collaboratively and were mentored by professional creatives and artists to understand how to interpret a creative brief and to create a digital extension of the public realm artwork that can be manipulated and experienced by local audiences.

The Virtual Reality artwork was open for the public to experience on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th August at Our Big Picture, Bethlehem Street, Grimsby.

woman wearing vr headset in front of a screen with a virtual world

VR Sound Hackjam: Spring Forward Festival (Mar 2022)

A two-day participatory Hackjam for female identifying musicians and sound artists to explore the sonic parameters of Virtual Reality as a performance and improvisational space.

The event based in Brighton as part of Spring Forward Festival, was an experimental safe space, designed to support and nurture female collaboration in a way that encouraged participants to think about potential future practice, digital expansions and new routes for experimentation.

Programmed by Threshold Studios, the event was delivered by Inkibit Immersive.

“I enjoyed the sense of play, experimentation and inclusiveness. The space felt safe and raised lots of interesting questions about tech, performance and community”

– VR Sound Hackjam participant

virtual reality world that looks like a desert with two blue hands in foreground

VR Hackjam: RADAR sandpit (Feb 2022)

As part of 2022 Industry Week at University of Lincoln, we brought together undergraduate students from Lincoln School of Film and Media and Inkibit Immersive for a Virtual Reality Hackjam.

Supported by Threshold Studios and Digital Democracies, Inkibit Immersive ran a VR Hackjam where participants were encouraged to explore open-source software and discover new ways to take an idea from concept to prototype.

Led by Digital Media Artist and Creative Technologist, Maf’J Alvarez, students were empowered to test VR technologies and personal creative concepts, supported by industry professionals.

RADAR is our highly successful creative graduate accelerator programme based at the University of Lincoln College of the Arts. This RADAR sandpit event extended the opportunity for students to learn from industry experts and develop their skills and confidence in working with VR.

“I have realised how much I enjoy working with VR, and having the ability to build a world that I can then enter and feel as though I am really there.’’

– VR Hackjam participant.

“I now feel more confident in how to use Unity and want to pursue it further in the future.”

– VR Hackjam participant


Read about the VR Hackjam event here.

Fusebox From Home at Brighton Digital Festival 2021. Photo credit Erin James.

From Home, Fusebox as part of Brighton Digital Festival 2021 (Nov 2021)

From Home was a project that captured the experience of ‘home’ as it was lived and articulated, presenting these experiences with digital technologies that are both reflective and illuminating.

For Brighton Digital Festival 2021, Moving Pictures Theatre (MPT) and Language Umbrella Media (LUM), with support from Wired Sussex’s FuseBox Innovation Lab, invited audiences to immerse themselves in the From Home project, and contribute their own thoughts on ‘home’.

From Home was originally conceived as a piece that uses conventional video collected from a broad range of people talking about their experiences of lockdown. From an award-winning film about domestic violence in India, to a film about childbirth in Margate; from self-isolation in a garden shed, to writing messages in pebbles on a beach and singing songs of hope in Canada.

For these prototyping sessions, the footage was combined with 360 filmed content, 3D scanned environments, and web-based VR, to create an interactive and immersive experience.

Programmed by Lighthouse, supported through Digital Democracies.

text in black Yello Brick with a yellow rectangle to left of text

Prototyping: Yello Brick (Nov 2021)

Yello brick led and curated a week-long programme to prototype and test ideas and concepts for gamification of public spaces.  Participants were guided through ideas development and daily inspirations from sector experts (including Play:Disrupt, Splash and Ripple and Blast Theory) to rapidly prototype concepts for later development.

Participants included Lincoln based Brew Projects, curator and producer Beth Lambert and artist and producer Laura Mabbutt who developed a concept later delivered at the Being Human festival 2021.

virtual world
Create_Space, participant example

Research Project: Create_Space (Feb 2022)

Create_Space is a virtual collaboration tool, pioneered by artist Jay Moy, for creating, developing, and presenting multidisciplinary artwork.

It is an artist led project that has been developed iteratively through user testing and research with a number of artists and producers.

February 2022 saw a further phase of testing supported by Digital Democracies and Freedom Festival Arts Trust. Using immersive environments, tools, and workflows, groups of artists from a wide range of disciplines worked in collaboration on an imagined brief to create site-specific art in public space, for a project site located in Hull.