While the intersection of technology and the arts has always presented a series of exciting opportunities for us here at Technology in the Arts, the reality is many cultural and arts organizations find technology challenging. It can seem especially prohibitive to small organizations and individual artists who may lack expertise. The Arts Council England and Codeworks have developed an interesting forum to increase the dialogue between arts organizations and the developers of this intimidating technology, the CultureCode Initiative.
No definition fits the CultureCode Initiative better than the one straight out of their digital press release,
“The CultureCode Initiative is a series of free events designed to open up new opportunities for highly skilled developers, designers and assorted geeks to work collaboratively with cultural organisations and artists.”
Here’s why I find the idea of the CultureCode Initiative so fascinating: technology often overwhelms people and appears antithetical to cultural organizations that feel that new technology can make them obsolete. The CultureCode Initiative seeks to completely debunk that myth, as Tyneside Cinema Chief Executive Mark Dobson explains, “You don’t need to have any previous experience of digital to attend this event”.
The CultureCode Initiative’s website even states “you don’t need an IT department” to partake and learn from their events, and some are guaranteed to be "jargon-free". The advent of web 2.0 and the current culture of sharing absolutely everything via the internet has democratized information. The CultureCode Initiative, to me, is increasing accessibility and informing arts and cultural organizations know that it is possible and it is easy for them to join this discussion.
Most importantly, perhaps, the discussion is not meant to be in one direction. While most similar opportunities are aimed at instructing arts organizations in utilizing technology, the CultureCode Initiative encourages two-way dialogues, with events showing developers how they can take a new look at cultural organizations and how cultural organizations can reconsider their “digital assets”.
If you’d like to join the discussion live, their first events start early next week (Tuesday, February 21st ) and CultureCode ends with a huge twenty-four hour Hack towards the end of March.
If you don’t happen to live in the North East of England (where these events take place) you can join the discussion digitally by tweeting @Culture_Code.
Any of our readers going? Be sure to let us know your perceptions of the events – you can bet Tech in the Arts will be watching to see what cool solutions come out of the CultureCode Hack.