Arts Council England
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Digital Future Art and Culture showcase at SXSW online

As the internationally renowned South by Southwest festival goes online for 2021, the Arts Council and producer British Underground will present a programme of world class digital performances, exhibits and panel discussions exploring the relationship between art and technology as part of the ongoing Future Art and Culture programme.

The programme, taking place from 16 – 20 March, will feature a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s immersive show Dream, music from a virtual avatar of tuba player Theon Cross recorded using motion capture at Abbey Road Studios, and panels featuring representatives from Punchdrunk, the National Gallery, Marshmallow Laser Feast and the Royal Opera House, as well as sessions connecting delegates from the UK and Japan run in partnership with the British Council.

The showcase will be presented across two online platforms – the official South by Southwest Online festival and the UK House, a new platform for the UK’s creative industries presented by a partnership including the Arts Council, the Department for International Trade, British Council and UK Research and Innovation.  Details on the full programme can be accessed on the Future Art and Culture website.

Francis Runacres, Executive Director, Enterprise and Innovation at Arts Council England said:

“The intertwining of art and technology has always been a driving force for culture, but it has become even more vital over the last year.  Showcasing the achievements of England’s creative technologists and promoting collaboration with others around the world is essential for generating further progress in the field, so we’re delighted to partner with British Underground again in 2021 to present Future Art and Culture at SXSW Online.”

Crispin Parry, CEO of British Underground said:

“Despite the many challenges of the pandemic and SXSW’s switch to digital we’ve brought together a fantastic line-up of projects and speakers that address the ongoing dialogue between the arts, technology and new audiences. SXSW Online is a stepping stone to what is coming next and we are excited to be part of this conversation with Arts Council England through the Future Art and Culture initiative.”

This year’s programme is the third Future Art and Culture showcase, with two more planned for 2022 and 2023.  Previous showcases have featured a variety of public art installations and immersive experiences from organisations including the BBC VR HUB, Philharmonia Orchestra and Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Studios, as well as panels and discussions examining the impact of technology across culture and the creative industries.


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