The Space, the free and on demand digital arts service developed by Arts Council England and the BBC, has announced plans to relaunch next year as a ‘dynamic new platform for artists and audiences to invent and explore brilliant digital art.’
Building on the pilot scheme, it aims to continue developing and delivering digital art experiences through a three-year agreement between Arts Council England and the BBC, subject to approval by the BBC Trust.
Artists and arts organisations will have the opportunity to submit work through a rolling programme of open calls, starting in early 2014, which will encourage new and emerging talent, as well as established artists, to develop projects.
Parallel to this will be a series of co-commissions comprising large, ambitious digital projects with cultural organisations, creative industry and arts partners, broadcasters, and digital commissioners. These include Artangel, The British Library, Cornerhouse, Fuel, Tate and the BBC Writers Room.
The commitment to The Space forms part of BBC Director-General Tony Hall’s strong commitment to arts programming at the BBC, announced in a speech yesterday at the BBC Radio Theatre, London. Hall has announced that arts programming is to receive a 20% boost. He said: “I believe the BBC is the world’s best arts broadcaster. But I want us to do even better.”
Commenting on the BBC’s commitment to The Space, Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “The launch of The Space pilot in May 2012 heralded the start of an experimental journey with the BBC, artists and arts organisations to explore the creative potential of new digital platforms for the UK and cultural sector. Some truly wonderful work was made and we know there is potential for more.
“It’s at the heart of both organisations’ mission to make great art and culture happen and to make this content available to everyone. We are looking forward together to building on the lessons learnt from the pilot, and deliver an even more innovative, dynamic and interactive digital Space that will be fun for both audiences and artists alike.”
Hall added: “This is an exciting moment for Arts Council England and the BBC. I know this is going to have a profound impact on arts in this country.”
The current Space pilot service will come to an end on 31 October, and from 1 November all current content on The Space will be taken down.