BRITISH UNDERGROUND AND ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND BRING FUTURE ART AND CULTURE BACK TO SXSW IN A PROGRAM FEATURING DIGITAL LANDSCAPES, AI DANCE AND VR ART

British Underground and Arts Council England announce official SXSW schedule this March 12 – 17, with a March 15 “UK Immersive Takeover Day” exploring global collaboration and thought-leadership featuring key organizations from the UK’s world-class cultural sector and international guests
(AUSTIN, TEXAS – March 1, 2022; source: Juice Consulting) – British Underground and Arts Council England announce their return to South by Southwest (SXSW) this year with their Future Art and Culture program, taking place March 12-17. The program will feature in the SXSW Art Program and SXSW XR Experience and includes immersive digital art experiences, performances featuring AI, VR and XR, and panels on the future of the arts in the digital realm.
Future Art and Culture comes to a head at the UK IMMERSIVE TAKEOVER DAY on Tuesday March 15, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the UK House, Cedar Street Courtyard, which will feature must-see panel discussions, case-studies and networking events exploring collaboration, thought leadership and future-thinking in the creative industries. The event is open to SXSW delegates and free to the public with a networking event starting at 4 p.m. To RSVP, see here.
FRAMERATE
Simon Mellor, Deputy CEO of Arts Council England, and a Takeover Day panel chair, says “We’re delighted to be working with British Underground to present Future Art and Culture at SXSW for another year, showcasing England’s role as a world leader in immersive art and technology. Future Art and Culture brings ground breaking projects by some of our smartest cultural organizations and technologists to an international audience in Austin and builds international opportunities for future cross-disciplinary collaboration and co-investment.”
Matthew Shaw and William Trossel, directors of FRAMERATE, a 3D artwork containing ground-breaking scientific research featuring in the SXSW Art Program says: “ScanLAB are thrilled to be presenting FRAMERATE as part of the prestigious Art Program at SXSW 2022. FRAMERATE is a hypnotic, multi-screen installation featuring groundbreaking 3D time-lapse footage captured across British landscapes over two years. The audience will bear witness to landscapes in flux in microscopic detail. FRAMERATE is an exclusive preview of a larger body of installation-based work due to be launched across late 2022/2023.”
Anne Mckinnnon, cofounder from music tech start-up Ristband and contributor to the Across the Metaverse panel, says, “Ristband’s music metaverse launch with indie/electronic UK band Miro Shot will offer a window into the future of a Web 3 made especially for artists, fans and music industry stakeholders. Catch us speaking on the panel Across the Metaverse: Independent Music in XR with exceptional fellow panelists.”
FRAMERATE
Highlights of the Official SXSW program supported by Future Art and Culture programme include:
FRAMERATE
Part of the SXSW Art Programe
Saturday March 12 – Tuesday March 15
Location: Verbena, Fairmont Hotel
Producer/Artist: ScanLAB Projects
FRAMERATE is a contemplative artwork and a shared experience. The audience will bear witness to landscape alterations caused by industry and the immense forces of nature; destruction, extraction, habitation, harvests, growth, and erosion. Created from thousands of 3D time-lapse scans of British landscapes, the work observes change on a scale impossible to see with your eyes or the lens of traditional cameras. Stories unfold across an array of screens. Hypnotic imagery surrounds the visitor. Audio filters through the space. This is not just an artwork. The data contains ground-breaking scientific research and a glimpse into the future of a perpetually documented planet.
The three projects listed below were initiated as prototypes in the Arts Council England funded Creative XR programme and will feature in the SXSW XR Experience.
FUTURE RITES
Sunday March 13 – Tuesday March 15
Location: XR Experience, Congressional Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel
Producer: Alexander Whitley Dance Company
Future Rites is an immersive and collaborative performance experience based on the seminal ballet The Rite Of Spring. Combining real-time animation and AI, it enables anyone to join in the dance. As users interact with a constantly evolving natural world, their movements and gestures decide a crucial outcome, guiding a narrative through this celebrated work of classical music around themes of ritual, nature and sacrifice.
(HI)STORY OF A PAINTING: THE LIGHT IN THE SHADOW
Sunday March 13 – Tuesday March 15
Location: XR Experience, Congressional Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel
Producer/Artist: Fat Red Bird Productions
The latest episode of VR Series (Hi)Story of a Painting: The Light in the Shadow, narrated by Cerys Matthews, explores the extraordinary story of one of today’s most celebrated Baroque artists: Artemisia Gentileschi. We follow her journey as she navigates a world where women have virtually no rights, and becomes one of Europe’s most celebrated and in-demand painters of her time.
Project: GOLIATH: PLAYING WITH REALITY
Sunday March 13 – Tuesday March 15
Location: XR Experience, Congressional Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel
Producer/Artist: Anagram
Through mind-bending animation, explore the limits of reality and a true story of mental health and the power of gaming. Echo (narrated by Tilda Swinton) guides you through the many realities of Goliath, a man who spent years in isolating mental health institutions but finds connection in multiplayer games. Combining heart-felt dialogue, mesmerizing visuals and symbolic interactions, you weave through multiple worlds to uncover Goliath’s poignant story.
FUTURE RITES
SXSW OFFICIAL PANELS SUPPORTED BY FUTURE ART AND CULTURE
MOCAP STREAMING AND REMOTE DANCE PERFORMANCE IN VR
Monday 14, March, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Location: Manchester, Fairmont Hotel
HEADSETS MAKE US THROW UP
Tuesday 15, March, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Manchester, Fairmont Hotel
DID COVID KILL OR CURE DIGITAL ARTS?
Wednesday 16, March, 10 – 11 a.m.
Location: Waller Ballroom, Austin Marriott Downtown
ACROSS THE METAVERSE: INDEPENDENT MUSIC IN XR
In partnership with BPI
Thursday 17, March, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Location: Room 17AB, Austin Convention Centre
(HI)STORY OF A PAINTING: THE LIGHT IN THE SHADOW
The Future Art and Culture program will co-host an Immersive Takeover day at UK House on Tuesday, March 15 from 10 a.m.
UK IMMERSIVE TAKEOVER DAY
Tuesday March 15, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: UK House, Cedar Street Courtyard
Presented by Arts Council England, British Council, British Underground, UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, Audience of the Future / UKRI; see here for more info.
10 – 11:30 a.m.
‘DREAM’ MAKERS: IMMERSIVE PERFORMANCE FUTURES
Based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Dream was an experiment into how audiences can experience and interact with live performance remotely using the very latest in motion capture. This session led by the performers reveals the technical processes and tools used to create Dream. The demonstration is followed by a panel discussion about where the latest gaming and theatre technologies are taking live performance. Supported by Audience of the Future / UKRI.
12 – 1:30 p.m.
CITIZENS OF IMAGINATION: COMMUNITY AND MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING
UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, is one of the biggest showcases of creative collaboration every undertaken in the UK. It runs from March to October and several projects are presenting at SXSW. Our Place in Space sends us into the stars to find new perspectives on our planet with our solar syem recreated on earth as a 10km sculpture trail and interactive AR. About Us is a thrilling multimedia ride through 13.8 billion years of our history. StoryTrails uncovers hidden histories using immersive technology. Martin Green speaks to Oliver Jeffers, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon and Angela Chan to explore how these creative experiences can give audiences a sense of their place in the world and role in its future. Supported by UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK.
2 – 3:30 p.m.
IMMERSIVE PRODUCTION SKILLS: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES
The immersive economy is already big business and is set for exponential growth. In a fast-changing environment, how do we equip the creative and cultural industries with the skills, knowledge and networks they need to prosper and forge the immersive landscape of the future? Panelists from the UK, Canada and Brazil will share international insights on skills needs and priorities and will explore different approaches to skills development and knowledge exchange. Supported by Future Art and Culture.
4 – 6 p.m.
UK IMMERSIVE TAKEOVER NETWORKING DRINKS
Meet the hosts and participants of the UK immersive takeover for networking drinks and secret live music guests from the UK. Hosted by Arts Council England, British Council, British Underground, UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, Audience of the Future / UKRI
ABOUT BRITISH UNDERGROUND:
British Underground produces showcases and strategic development projects in music and the arts that focus on international success. Working across the creative sector from Stormzy to The Royal Shakespeare Company, BU is an Arts Council England NPO and part of the PRSF Talent Development network. Their London office is at Somerset House and the organization has relationships across the cultural sector in the UK and overseas. For more information, see here.
ABOUT ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND:
Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture in England. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each person is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from UK Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.
Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the UK Government’s unprecedented £1.96 billion Culture Recovery Funds.
ABOUT UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK:
UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is a celebration of creativity taking place across the UK in 2022, designed to reach millions and bring people together. It features free large-scale events, installations, and globally accessible digital experiences in the UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative collaboration. Produced by some of the brightest minds in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, UNBOXED features ten major multi-site and digital creative projects that share new ideas and possibilities for the future. Events and activities take place from March 1 to Oct. 2, 2022 – from the Outer Hebrides to Dover and from Omagh to Swansea, and across traditional and online media. UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK and is commissioned and delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, Creative Wales, and EventScotland.