Tate Modern launches Bloomberg Connects
Tate Modern has announced the launch of a new creative space dubbed Bloomberg Connects, the first of many digital schemes that will see the gallery transform the way it works inherently. As the name suggests, it is all about connecting. This is the social mood of the twenty first century: a world without borders.
And so it begins with intent. This new effort, for example, is a strong start to a much more engaging, conversational and involved direction. The dialogue is no longer one-way or closed, but fluid, abundant and multilayered. Keep talking, Tate Modern says, we want to know what you think, we want to know what you see.
Visitors will now be exposed to more interactive screens than ever before, with 75 already installed, “cascading in a spine down the central stairway and concourses” of the gallery. The public now become part gallerist, part curator, part artist and part critic, as in some instances, their contributions, written or sketched, will be displayed.
“In the coming years we need to devote as much attention to the digital as we have given recently to the physical expansion and improvement of our buildings,” explains Nicholas Serota, director of Tate.
“Bloomberg Connects encourages the creativity which exists within each one of us and recognises the importance of dialogue. We are grateful to Bloombergfor building on their support of pioneering digital interpretation at Tate Modern and for making possible the next vital steps in our digital journey.”
The launch of this exciting new project comes on the back of the publication of Tate’s annual report, which revealed that its four galleries – Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and Tate Modern – have collectively experienced record visitor numbers.
Tate Modern on its own has been nothing short of groundbreaking. A record 5.5 million people passed through its doors in 2012-13. It was therefore the most visited gallery of modern and contemporary art in the world, and all against a backdrop of a harsh economic climate, compounded by government cuts and austerity.
With this new digital focus, Tate certainly has the ability to boost its attendance figures and reinvent the gallery experience. It is committed to this project, as it intends on investing in as much time and money in digital strategies, as it has done on improving its physical spaces.
“It is much better than I expected, to be honest,” the influential artist and teacher Michael Craig-Martin, was quoted by the Guardian as saying.
“There is something very sympathetic about the way it works – it is easy to use and you don’t have to be too precise. I think there are going to be kids who spend all day here. They are never going to leave because once you have done one, you want to do another. Everybody is an artist at heart and this is a very easy way to do it.”
With shows exploring the French master Henri Matisse’s late cut-outs and the work of the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich at Tate Modern; examining the output of the British abstract sculptor Richard Deacon at Tate Britain; and surveying the ideas Dutch artist Piet Mondrian’s Tate Liverpool, 2014 is set to be another blockbuster year.
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