The arts tend to be ahead of society when it comes to envisioning the future of technology – think of all the science fiction that has shown us the future before scientists and engineers got there in reality. Many artists ‘magpie’ new technologies to use within the creative process. However, arts organisations often face challenges in adopting digital technologies ‘successfully’ – in other words, in a way that results in innovation. For a consideration of the difference between innovative application and creative experimentation see Appendix 1.
Innovation is more important than ever for the publicly-funded arts sector. It is facing both budget cuts and heightened expectations from funders that bring new demands in terms of resilience and sustainability. But this is not just a matter of tightening budgets – the march of technological progress means that audiences are bringing new expectations in terms of ways to connect with arts organisations and the content they produce. Without being able to adopt new digital technologies in transformational ways, arts organisations will be left behind and lose their relevance to society.
Over 6 months, The Audience Agency has been supporting 10 magnificent action-research projects as they ask how (or if) digital technology can bring communities and archives closer together.
Has the shift to working from home moved the goal posts for local arts attendance? Oliver Mantell has been considering the evidence of attendance at live arts events.