Australian artists awarded $350,000 to develop broadband arts initiatives

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Thursday 13 September 2012.

Four artistic teams will harness the unprecedented creative possibilities of high capacity broadband with $350,000 through the Australia Council’s Broadband Arts Initiative.

Arts Minister Simon Crean has announced the successful artists who will generate new art content for next generation broadband networks in Australia.

“The National Broadband Network is forging new possibilities for artists,” Mr Crean said.

“It is broadening audiences for artists and providing new digital platforms for creating, sharing and presenting work.

“I have been a constant advocate and proponent for this potential, arguing that the NBN is the highway.

“The creative industries are a key part of determining the vehicles that go on the highway. The access and applications are vital.

“Selected by a panel of practicing artists as well as leaders from the broadcast, creative and gaming industries, these teams are breaking creative boundaries with projects that are only possible as a result of high speed broadband infrastructure.

“For example, Terrapin Puppet Theatre has received $100,000 to use high speed broadband to stage a live simultaneous performance of children’s show ‘Shadow Dreams’ to two audiences in different locations.

“In collaboration with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and in a first for puppet performance, this project will feature live networked symphony performances in both locations,” he said.

Festival director Marcus Westbury has received $86,000 for the Screen Portal Project which will connect artists and audiences in real-time interactions on high definition, life-size audio visual screens in public spaces in New South Wales and the Northern Territory, as part of the 2013 International Symposium on Electronic Arts.

The City of Whittlesea, Victoria has received $100,000 for ‘Stay or Leave’ an online public artwork that will reveal the impact of natural disaster. Using the National Broadband Network, this project will work with communities to create a sonic landscape which mirrors the rapidly changing circumstances of extreme events.

Media artist Keith Armstrong has received $64,000 for ‘Long Time, No See?’ an online and installation artwork where the public will generate a vision for Australia’s long term future. This project connects with communities at early National Broadband Network release sites.

“The initiative received enormous interest from artists and arts organisations across Australia, with more than 100 expressions of interest received,” Mr Crean said.

“Such a resounding sector response demonstrates the excitement from the arts community about the possibilities of high speed broadband and the National Broadband Network to allow artists to extend artistic form, rather than just distribute content.

“I commend the Australia Council for giving artists this opportunity to innovate and to find new ways of connecting with audiences.”