Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture – Happenstance presentation


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The Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture is a partnership between the Arts Council England, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and NESTA to support arts and cultural organisations across England who want to work with digital technologies to expand their audience reach and engagement and/or explore new business models.

The Happenstance Project proposes a series of residencies placing a small team of digital designers and developers into three arts organisations to understand innovation processes and conditions for organisational change.

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Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture – Happenstance presentation

  1. 1. The Happenstance Project: A series of residencies placingsix ‘technologists’ into three arts organisations (SiteGallery, Spike Island, Lighthouse Media). Residents spend 3 days per week over two 5 week ‘sprints’. The aim is to understand how one-off ‘glanceable’ technological Insert innovations, together with the distinctive processes and cultures of digital technologists, can become embedded into organisational practices of arts organisations and lead to organisational change.
  2. 2. 2. What will your project deliver? Products and Knowledge Research services and skills outputs Outputs might include: • Specific workshops – • Comparing structure / • Products to make e.g. ‘agile’ culture of the arts creative activity visible methodology, ways of organisations – to the public and to documenting process • Comparing different Insert others in the building • More broadly - modes of innovation • Tools for collaboration attempting to be visible (experimenting vs. (apps, virtual / engaging towards adapting) between spaces, communication users of the building as residencies methods) well as working with • Understanding core staff on specific conditions (barriers / projects opportunities) for org. change
  3. 3. 3. Who is in your R&D team? How are you working together to make the project happen? Arts / Cultural Organisation The ResidentsSite Gallery (Laura Sillars, Judith James Jeffries / Leila Johnston (Site);Harry); Spike Island (Anna Searle Jones Kevin Walker / Linda Sandvik (Spike);/ Helen Legg); Lighthouse (Honor James Bridle / Natalia Buckley (LightH)Harger) - experimenting, making stuff,- Framing organisational objectives, understanding /challenging arts orgs.setting expectations, managing localengagement Insert Researchers Technology ProviderChris Bilton (PI + Site); Ruth Leary Caper (Rachel Coldicutt, Katie Beale,(Lighthouse); Katherine Jewkes (Spike) Beckie Darlington)- Observing process, communication - Project design & projectand comparison between residents and management, recruiting arts orgs andarts organisations, writing up technologists, managing expectationsimplications (allowing risk), mentoring technologists
  4. 4. 4. What are you learning and developing that could be of value to the sector? • Understanding innovation process (open / experimental vs. applied / closed) – mapping relationship between risk and adaptation (research and development) as two halves of the innovation process • Identifying cultural and structural barriers to technological innovation Insert in arts organisations, and identifying catalysts and facilitators for tech. innovation • Understanding organisational and cultural aspects of technological innovation, beyond immediate outcomes • Comparing methods and expectations between three constituencies: technologists; artists; arts organisations (and by extension their stakeholders and audiences)
  5. 5. 5. Where are you in terms of your project’s development? Completed work Still to do ChallengesRecruited 3rd arts org Complete residencies ‘Open’ brief forRecruited 6 1&2 residentstechnologists Evaluate project Differing expectationsCompleted inductions outcomes for arts organisation(met staff / associates Identify next steps Observing ‘process’in each org) Insert Write up research Relating specificTwo weeks into first report outcomes to generalresidency findings Evaluate Develop Develop Live to Project launch audience and test and test market data