Tate unveils digital plans

Bloomberg Connects aims to engage new audiences in new ways
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Simon Stephens
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Tate has announced plans to expand its digital activity through a series of initiatives that were unveiled as part the publication of its annual report.

The organisation has launched a number of these projects under a sponsorship deal with financial information provider Bloomberg.

“We are absolutely committed to developing our footprint in the digital arena,” said Tate director Nicholas Serota. “It is very important that we do that so we can reach out to new audiences.”

Bloomberg Connects, which has been designed by Jason Bruges Studios, comprises four projects:

  • Mark Your Mark: a series of interactive touchscreens inviting visitors to join art-related conversations, and screens showcasing visitors’ ideas and drawings running down the spine of Tate Modern.

  • Drawing Bar: a digital space where visitors create and exhibit their own artwork.

  • Global Studios: artists around the world inviting the audience into their studio.

  • Screening Space: a bespoke cinema space for films about artists.

Chris Dercon, the director of Tate Modern, said in a film that Tate has made about Bloomberg Connects: “People want to start using museums in a very different way. They want to start receiving, debating, judging, and thinking about connecting, sharing and talking back and spreading images, messages, words and ideas into the world.”



Tate has also unveiled details of a new annual prize to celebrate creative talent in the digital industry. The winner will of the prize be given £10,000 and a £60,000 development budget for a project to connect audiences with art in the BP Walk Through British Art at Tate Britain.

The IK Prize has been named in memory of the philanthropist Irene Kreitman and is supported by the Porter Foundation. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is among the panel that will judge the candidates.

Tate also launched the BP Art Exchange project, which is designed to connect schools, galleries, artists and cultural institutions worldwide through a social media platform and an offline programme of artist interventions.

Tate also used the publication of its annual report for its chairman, Lord Browne, to call on government to create clearer and longer-term funding agreements with national museums and galleries where the link between the grant and the services provided was better defined.

He said this would help unlock philanthropic funds and would be better for planning ahead.

This followed a speech that Browne gave at an event hosted by the Art Fund in July when he called for a “new age of philanthropy”.


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