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Three more years of Future Art and Culture at SXSW

British Underground’s Future Art and Culture showcase will appear at South by Southwest Interactive Festival for three more years, supported by a £495,000 Development Funds award from the Arts Council.

A dancer in a dark room wearing a VR headset raises her arm.

Dancing Shadows – Kaleider © Seth Honnor

Presenting work that expands the boundaries of art and technology, the showcase at the world-renowned festival in Austin, Texas celebrates the creative innovation of England’s arts and cultural sector.  Until 20th August 2019, British Underground is seeking nominations for cutting edge digital art installations and immersive experiences to appear at the next showcase in March.  The work must have been produced in England, or by creative talent based in England, during the last year, and British Underground is keen for the participants to represent the diversity of the country. 

Previous Future Art and Culture showcases in 2018 and 2019 have featured immersive experiences from the Royal Shakespeare Company, BBC VR Hub, Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Studios, Philharmonia Orchestra, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Punchdrunk and US innovators Magic Leap, a live coded electronic music showcase (or Algorave), a public art installation using smart city technology by Naho Matsuda, as well as panels and discussions on the future of art and technology.  You can hear last year’s panel on “How Books Are Fighting Back in the Digital Age” here.

A group of children and adults stand around a table, with a colourful wall of LED lights behind them

Strange Cargo: Beatbox Jigsaw and LED Wall by Digital Funfair, Cheriton Light Festival, 2016 © Strange Cargo/ Andy Jones

Simon Mellor, Deputy CEO, Arts and Culture at Arts Council England yesterday said:

“We are delighted to be able to commission another three years of the enormously successful Future Art and Culture programme curated by British Underground at SXSW. This programme showcases the exciting work currently being developed by English cultural organisations around the use of new technologies – and provides opportunities for organisations and creatives in England to build new global partnerships. The results will be ever more exciting and innovative work powered by a host of new partnerships between publicly funded cultural organisations in England and tech companies around the world.”

Crispin Parry, CEO of British Underground yesterday said: 

“We are excited to have gained Arts Council support for three more editions of Future Art and Culture at SXSW, starting with the next Interactive Festival in March 2020. Supporting leading and emerging practitioners to collaborate with commercial and international partners, and working in association with research and development support agencies such as the AHRC Creative Economy Programme, this three-year project will put dozens of English-based exhibitors and delegates in front of the world’s leading taste-makers and positions England’s digital creative community at the centre of a global conversation shaping the future of the arts.”


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