Without Walls Digital Surgeries

Digital

Providing artists with the knowledge to incorporate creative technologies into their work

Following artists feedback from the Creative Lab: Digital & the Outdoors sessions that took place in December 2019, Without Walls provided a series of free Digital Surgeries to offer artists guidance to understand what technologies might be best suited for their project and how to use them. These sessions took place in early March 2020, in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

The Digital Surgeries involved a 90-minute one-on-one session with Creative Technologist Steve Symons. Steve has been working with sound and technology since 1998 and a member of the highly innovative Owl Project since 2005. He has a strong knowledge of the UK Outdoor Arts sector, having worked with Ray Lee on Without Walls-supported show Congregation.

In these sessions Steve worked with the artist to scope out the idea, identify the role of technology within it and then plan some next steps.  Emphasis was placed being able to better articulate your needs to a technologist (and better understand the information you get back, and what technologies might work for your idea and where to go next.

Instead of being an end to the artistic process, creative technologies can enable and enhance narratives. With this in mind, we would like to offer artists working in the Outdoor Arts guidance to understand what technologies might be best suited for their project and how to use them. Explore the Digital Strategic Projects that Without Walls manages in the related content section below.

Without Walls is committed to exploring digital innovation in the outdoor arts sector. This includes supporting artists to explore ways in which digital techniques can be used to expand their creative practice, and exploring opportunities to use digital tools that will enable audiences to experience art in new and different ways.

Between 10 – 13 December 2019, Without Walls and 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space hosted the Creative Lab: Digital and the Outdoor, which consisted of a one-day Symposium that attracted over 100 delegates, followed by a three-day Creative Tech Lab residential attended by a cohort of 17 artists.

The numerous discussions around the challenges and opportunities involved in the use of creative technologies in outdoor arts, revealed several recurring areas which artists are often apprehensive about:

  • Unfamiliarity with the language needed to communicate their artistic vision to creative technologists
  • Not knowing what is possible in the digital realm
  • Where to find a team of creative technologists outside the arts sector
  • How to tap into funding opportunities beyond the most widely knows arts funding sources
  • Time needed to plan around the limitations of creative technologies

What became clear after the three-day Creative Labs, is that most artists often need to address specific areas of concern, rather than learn how to use a particular piece of tech. Instead of being an end to the artistic process, creative technologies can enable and enhance narratives. With this in mind, artists often need guidance to understand what technologies might be best suited for their project and how to use them.

“Steve was great! He had obviously prepared well, with specific thoughts on my project, and areas for kicking off the session, which then rolled along nicely.”

Digital Surgeries artist

“It was a well-rounded, productive and quite inspiring little session.”

Digital Surgeries artist

Steve Symons, Creative Technologist: Biography