Internationally acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei offered a unique set of data for an art hackathon event at Tate Modern this weekend, marking the launch of The Space and a new open call for digital art all over the world.
Taking place on the eve of London Technology Week (16-20 June 2014), it was the first ever Hackathon held in London's iconic Turbine Hall at Tate Modern and the world's largest ever art hack, celebrating the launch of The Space – a new digital art platform co-funded by the BBC and the Art's Council.
In line with The Space's vision in creating a platform that promotes freedom of expression and the combination of art and technology, Ai Weiwei offered up a voice recording he made bellowing the names of people killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China to share with participants of the art hackathon. He said he wanted to encourage the participants "to be ambitious, take risks and hopes that they will create a meaningful piece of digital art with the data set."
The Space invited over 140 artists and technologists to come together in the Turbine Hall for the 24 hour hackathon, with a brief to 'take any form of data and turn it into art'.
In total 40 projects were created at the hack, with participants accessing a number of unusual data sets from Tate, Open Data Institute, Guardian and Ai Weiwei.
The shortlisted projects were judged on: use of data, most creative output and overall impact.
• First Prize – $echo (Guy Armitage, Ron Herrema, Gavin Clark, Marko Kirves)
• Second Prize – Perspective (Robert Wollner, Adam John Williams)
• Third Prize – The Glasshouse (Tom Berman, Tomas Ruta, Emil Wallner, Charlotte Webb, Matthew Gardiner).
The teams will be commissioned by The Space to research and develop their projects to the next stage.
The winning team, $echo, used the Ai Wei data to create a piece of digital art that aimed to challenge the way people perceive their security online by helping them hear and visualise the constant attacks of hackers. They set up open servers and designed it so that every-time a hacker attacked the servers, a sound would play to demonstrate how frequently servers are attacked.
The hackathon also marked The Space's first Open Call, encouraging anyone over 18-years-old from anywhere in the world to submit an original idea for digital technological art.
The Open Call will close on 11 July 2014 and will be the first in a series organised by The Space. The aim is to find new, outstanding talent and commission the most original work by artists from any art form, creative industry, cultural, technical or digital background which can then be commissioned into fully developed art works for The Space.
The Open Call is open to anybody with an original idea for digital art.
For more info visit www.thespace.org/opencall
Follow The Space on twitter @thespacearts