DevArt: A new movement

No stone will be left unturned in Google’s ambitious march forward in the name of progress. To Google will, one day, it hopes, be more than to simply search, it will be a verb for everything, from reading books, to driving cars to seeing beyond the universe. The multinational tech giant is hungry to be an all-pervasive entity.
One of its latest endeavours is seeing it dip its toes once again in the world of art, except in this instance there is a greater focus and commitment to technology, namely digital.
DevArt is an intriguing project. It is all at once a competition and a new type of art. In the first, it will result in an original work of coded art being shown at the Barbican in London this summer, as part of its Digital Revolution exhibition. In the second, it is a sign of what Google sees as the possible dawn of a new creative age.
Code is essential, the company says: “A new type of art requires a new creative process, one that is true to the open source nature of code … We want to change the perception of what art can be, and what code can be. Code is much more than just numbers on a screen.”
Pushed to its limits, Google explains further, code can be used to “create beautiful digital art installations”. The end result is not just art, it is DevArt. Technology, so the hype goes, is the canvas, with code being akin to paint and brushes (raw materials).
Three artists have already been commissioned. Karsten Schmidt, Zach Lieberman, and the duo Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet will each produce a “one, all-new installation”, which will be on view at the Barbican.
Google is pumping some serious money and expertise into this endeavour. The winner of the competition, defined as a “creative coder”, will be privy to a budget valued at £25,000 and be given specialist curational and production support.
Competitors are required to use GitHub, which is an online space for developers to share code with the world. It is highly collaborative, helping foster innovation through teamwork.
GitHub is therefore like a studio, where code is constructed by digital artists and the process documented. The latter is important, says Google, as it considers the course of action taken to be just as important as the finished article.
The judging criteria is based on three key areas. First is the idea, which must “show that you have pushed code and technology what was previously thought possible”; second is the materials, which must be a “blend of technologies” including at least one from Google; and third is the open process, where creativity and resourcefulness must be demonstrated.
Cadogan Tate has state-of the art storage facilities located all over the world.