The project brings together partners from across the UK – civic, cultural, HE and tech sectors with artists to explore new experiences in our shared public social spaces – real world and online- where we live, work, visit and play.
Public social spaces – live and online – are the spaces that we have made to connect to other people and which embody our shared humanity. Free-to-access, open-to-all, inherently culturally diverse – these 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. But these spaces are also often contested, sometimes privately owned and surveilled, governed by invisible infrastructures and social codes that can undermine their value as spaces for grassroots social and cultural democracy.
Digital Democracies aims to explore these opportunities through a flexible innovation programme of commissioning and testing new work, engaging audiences and running professional development opportunities for artists, producers, creative technologists and those interested in social development of place.
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Led by Threshold Studios and supported by Arts Council England, Digital Democracies connects three UK-based commissioning festivals, Frequency International Festival of Digital Culture (Produced by Threshold Studios), Freedom Festival (Produced by Freedom Festival Arts Trust) and Brighton Digital Festival (Produced by Lighthouse and Brandwatch), along with a network of associate partners and collaborators across the UK.
We provide research and development opportunities as well as radically inclusive public cultural experiences to create and test new commissions with public audiences.
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. The commissions will tour Freedom Festival in Hull, Brighton Digital Festival and Frequency Festival of Digital Culture in Lincoln in 2021.
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, through:
Access to expert support, events and resources, collaborations and commissioning opportunities for the testing of new ideas and work.
To kick off the commissioning programme, Brighton-based Lighthouse, will be commissioning an artist to create a new work for Digital Democracies as part of their Re-Imagine Europe programme. More information about this Artist Call Out can be found here.
We run professional development opportunities for artists, producers, technicians and more.
The project will include community workshops, masterclasses, content, talks and tools to inspire new approaches and democratically share lived experience and knowledge cascade from the programme.