Future Art Ecosystems: Art x Metaverse (FAE2) | Launch

Future Art Ecosystems: Art x Metaverse (FAE2) | Launch

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Good evening and welcome thank you for joining us Welcome to the launch presentation of Future Art Ecosystems - Art and the Meta- Art and the Metaverse. We will get that right at some point! From now on we will refer to this throughout the presentation as FAE2. I'm Kay Watson and I'm Victoria Ivanova and we are part of the Serpentine Arts Technologies team and here beyond this Twitch frame are our really dear colleagues, Alex Boyes Tamar Clarke-Brown, Eva Jager, Ralph Pritchard and Florence Creffield. You're missing Ben Vickers! Who is not here but we do believe that he's with us in spirit. So just a few words about this format we decided to test out something a little bit different to Zoom and in the spirit of FAE2. We really hope you enjoy this presentation let us know your thoughts but please be kind it is our first time So what is going to be happening tonight is that we are going to walk you through FAE2 and we're going to explain the key concepts and motivations for putting them forward To caveat we won't be able to cover absolutely everything tonight but we will try and cover as many of those core concepts as we can and if you haven't done so already you can download FAE2 here from our website futureartecosystems.org

Also hopefully right now Alex our colleague will have dropped a link into the chat for a Digital Goodybag which includes images of the diagrams that are part of the briefing that you can include as part of your operational agendas for 21st century cultural infrastructure as well as telegram emojis screensavers and phone wallpapers so feel free at any point to use the chat and put your questions and your comments into the chat. If you can't see it you may need to log in you should be able to see it but to be able to interact you will need to log in So our all-knowing colleague Alex who's to our side here will either respond directly via the chat or otherwise we will try and respond to questions at the end We also have BSL throughout this presentation by the wonderful Sarah Meeks and we also have Closed Captions. Is that everything? I think so so let's get into it. Whoops we're not at the beginning let's start at the beginning that's always a good place okay so FAE2 was produced in collaboration with Rival Strategy; Marta and Benedict. Rival Strategy is a studio that helps organizations evolve their strategic imaginations and operations and in fact it was together with Rival Strategy that we conceived of Future Art Ecosystems as an annual strategic briefing two years ago to do precisely that to help to articulate references concepts and various kinds of key frameworks for the construction of the 21st century cultural infrastructure that is necessary in order to support the production, dissemination, management and financialization of art that engages with advanced technologies and touches on important or engages with important societal issues. So this time also for FAE2 we worked with an additional guest producer and that is Luke Caspar Pearson he is the co-founder of the design research practice You + Pea and he runs the Video Game Urbanism Studio at the Bartlett where they are researching the use of game technologies to engage new tech and new audiences with the processes that shape cities and prototype new futures. Now because this year's issue focuses on the metaverse and there will obviously be more of that to come the development of which is currently driven by game technologies we thought that this would be a really important perspective to have as part of the production team in considering the potential ways that cultural organizations are to approach the possibilities and risks of this space but before we get to the metaverse we'd like to thank our many contributors for their time wisdom and expertise and in particular Jay-Ann Lopez and Lucy Rose Solitt for organizing two incredible closed round tables. We also thank our advisors Ivaylo Getov, Sophie Netchaef,

Gabrielle de la Puente of the White Pube and Katrina Sluis for also granting their wisdom and expertise and to Eva Jager who's here and Roxy Zeiher for the incredible visuals that accompany FAE2 and last but not least Sarah Shin for editing this year's publication so if any of you are present and able please do say hi in the chat we'd love to hear from you and Alex will certainly say hi back so in addition before we start we also have 10 copies of this printed book to give away to the first 10 people who can provide the closest answer to the number of times we use the word infrastructure infrastructures or infrastructural in FAE2. We will get back to the lucky recipients if you pop your answers in the chat and we will reach out to you if you are close. So the metaverse now full disclosure we were not completely sure about utilizing this term when we started our research process while we were interested in exploring the technologies that are driving the development of increasingly complex and sophisticated virtual worlds we found that the term metaverse was a little bit suspect or at least that was the impression that we got from the initial interviews and in fact there was a diverse array of reactions to that term so as i said some found it suspect or even distasteful to certain extent some found it irrelevant or as a you know distant sci-fi reference from a bygone era and others had not even heard of it yet. There were also some that thought that it was an interesting term to use precisely because of its slipperiness and the fact that it can be utilized as let's say a good interesting narrative device in driving investment into a certain set of technologies that are kind of at the heart of developing the space that we're going to talk about So as victoria has just said currently we're in this moment where there is a surge of investment into the technologies that will underwrite the construction of a metaverse or the metaverses and this is in part driven by the vision of the games industry and for this you can refer you know on a very top level high level to the mission of people like Tim Sweeney of Epic Games or Herman Nerula of Improbable who makes spatial OS Now we enter the picture here so while this is a highly ambitious endeavour we do think it's a good moment for the public sector to step into this conversation given that these commercial drivers are sort of portraying these new systems as open transparent and accountable and for there to be a dialogue to ensure that this is the case as these systems are built up. So let's define the

metaverse and you know this is for the uninitiated and I must admit that I was one of them at the start of this research process so here is a definition of the metaverse that is effectively an aggregate or a summary of all definitions that are out there and it builds on something that Matthew Ball has captured in one of his many articles. So Matthew Ball of VC and somebody who tracks the development of the space quite closely writes about accessible language is also described as an elite media analyst so make of that what you will but in any case the metaverse refers to a digital layer that is spatial, in 3D real time, shared with multiple concurrent users, persistent, meaning that it continues to exist and evolve even when users aren't interacting with it, inherently hybrid, that is later integrated between virtual and physical but perceived as a single reality, interoperable, a term to which we will return a number of times that as this is really at the heart of this infrastructure, huge infrastructure project In this context it means that, or some of the ways in which it could be interpreted is that it is possible to exchange assets, carry over avatars and value as in move through as economic agents between seamlessly connected worlds and also generate economies that can merge with and influence the larger global economy. So ultimately what we're talking about is the future of the internet as we know it. So the basic building block of the metaverse that is probably most familiar to everyone today is what we in the report call an advanced virtual environment this is generally associated with video games or game worlds and for very good reason because they are built with those same tools and at the real core of this is the video game engine for those of you who are unfamiliar and perhaps this is really obvious but I'm going to say anyway this is the software with which we build video games and game worlds so these software environments as act as a hub for creating the visuals audio mechanics lots of different things with these advanced virtual environments In addition the most well-known of these which are Unity and Unreal Engine are available to use through flexible licensing arrangements and therefore mostly for free now we could dedicate an entire event just to this subject alone which I would love but we will keep this brief In recent years this technology is everywhere from CGI and Film and TV productions to simulations for scientific research to town planning industrial design architecture The infrastructure of the games industry is now part the digital functionality of many different sectors in society so we draw particular attention to this technology in this report because it already allows for a lot of the features that Victoria has listed as part of our sort of definition of the metaverse so the capability to create real-time 3d interactive spatial environments with multiple users and increasingly complex economies such as those that we find in massive multiplayer online worlds we then combine this with other emerging and enabling technologies such as cloud computing, 5G GPO. GPU rather GPO that's something I've never heard of and so some of these properties of these visions, properties of the visions of the metaverse are already here and some are 5 10 further away but regardless these are increasingly being integrated into mainstream societal infrastructure and then if we go back to the game engine what's interesting is that this technology this game engine is potentially functioning as an interface layer to what we're calling the metaverse stack So let's reign it back in you know to the context of cultural institutions I mean the key takeaway here for culture organizations is that the notion of digital is shifting from the somewhat familiar terrain of web 2.0 platform-based social media social web terrain and not only is

it no longer possible to speak of physical and digital as separate realms if it ever was but the idea that digital is a tool for mirroring or amplifying what happens within gallery walls or a medium for artworks that follow a White Cube model logic becomes apparently very limiting Now we got a glimpse of that in the Pandemic during Pandemic months you know when physical sites of cultural organizations were shut and it became apparent that the framework for digital strategy that has existed to date and there are of course exceptions so you know we're talking about the lowest common denominator so to speak but the kind of conception of digital strategy as something that drives traffic onto the side as amp you know something that amplifies what happens within gallery walls doesn't really work it also doesn't really work if we consider digital as a medium for a certain type of art that is presented within a white cube model paradigm So what is the white cube model paradigm let's go to the white cube model diagram oh it's not the diagram no it's the list it's the list so this is how we're defining the white cube model here and you know we're using this in the context of talking about delivering the mission of arts institutions with and around physical space so we're looking at these three principles which are number one that presented objects are unique and finalized number two that these objects are presented to general anonymous viewership and number three the especially configured physical space is the hosting environment of those presented objects or artworks now of course there's a very literal way in which you could take these three parameters and translate them into a digital twin scenario so this is the logic of the online viewing room which has surfaced during the pandemic months once again and while it may have a place in a certain kind of niche of the art market that is dedicated to a certain type of art it doesn't seem like the most fruitful avenue to follow for cultural organizations that have you know usually more ambitious public missions to represent the interests of society to support artists to track developments that are impacting societies at large and intervene into these developments so for that reason we proposed an alternative model for conceptualizing digital strategy although probably digital strategy is also kind of a term that we need to lose but this is sort of sufficiently I would say kind of not necessarily speculative but sort of first iteration suggestion which means that it isn't something that we're kind of suggesting as the final solution to everything but only as a starting point. So UX of Art (user experience of art) as a strategic approach to an increasingly hybrid reality where as I mentioned before you can no longer really make a distinction between physical and digital and so you need to kind of operate from a presumption that you know you live in a hybridized reality and that that hybridized reality requires the organization to rethink the principles upon which decisions around investment happen so okay so let's have a look at this shift that's happening as through the lens of the advanced virtual environment so we'll just go to one of the diagrams in the publication and I'll just zoom in a little bit it's both a diagram and a list it's a diagram and a list which is a hybrid list! So what we're seeing is this shift or what we may see is this shift towards an experience that evolves and progresses rather than something that is always necessarily finite. If we look at the second coupling here under UX of Art we've really been thinking about who the users of cultural institutions are so I mean there's definitely been a push in recent years to segment audiences in order to understand them better however I mean there's always often a presumption that the only users are the ones that enter the gallery space rather than the artists themselves or other communities that any given organization serves as a result of its location its areas of specialization or its wider positioning and then if we look to the final point we're really thinking about the sort of hosting potential here so in terms of like the mission of arts organizations working with technologies you know that that would mean sort of deeper integration with these kinds of production processes that are necessary to sort of engage those users and key stakeholders so this is a diagram it is a diagram which kind of puts forward the key ideas around UX of Art namely that organizational decision making should be based around the key stakeholder group so the users and the delivery of the public mission now then there's kind of a choice around decisions of investment and commitment in terms of the capabilities that any organization would like to develop or to progress depending on the type of function that it needs to serve within a wider societal fabric and that kind of goes back to the public mission and the user now to make those ideas a little bit less abstract and more grounded we offer two examples here so at the top here we've got an organization that you know might have a mission to support artists working with advanced technologies so it would make sense for it to invest into R&D and into production processes in order to be able to support artists in producing new art forms now another organization that has more of a commitment towards a kind of critical discourse around art and advanced technologies might invest into a different type of R&D and also curating and convening in order to be able to deliver formal and informal exchange of knowledge between different communities, sectors, organizations etc now we realize that these are somewhat reductive and probably most organizations you know will have hybridized versions of these but I think what we wanted to emphasize with UX of Art is that it allows for institutions to become much more specific about what they want to achieve understanding their audiences and understanding their role in society vis-a-vis their public mission so this is what we call kind of a capabilities-led organization and when we move on to the next part in a few minutes it will become apparent why capabilities led organizations a really kind of core unit of future art ecosystems so before we do that you know it's really important to say that supporting artistic experimentation with advanced technologies is really the key or the core of why we're here so therefore you know what we're pointing to is the need for more integration with artistic production processes and access to diverse dissemination and business models which is really difficult for organizations to provide in terms of providing this systemic support for these kinds of practices so as part of the process of working on FAE2 over the last year we've been speaking to a number of practitioners and organizations in adjacent fields including blockchain gaming film and architecture which we refer to here in a diagram as Art Adjacency and we have another diagram and the purpose of this was in order to understand the opportunities and challenges that lie in those sectors that engaging with this shift in the digital condition that is the metaverse and to understand what infrastructure and work there is taking place in particular and how they might be supporting emerging hybrid and experimental practices now we only have time to look at two of the four that we mention here but I think the obvious place to start is Indie Games which is ultimately the genesis of the Games Industry as we know it today an incredibly interesting area of cultural production where risk taking and experimentation is taking place so that is obviously not to say that this industry is a utopia it is not but there are a number of business models available to cultural producers that are supported by direct to consumer publishing platforms, the access to a multiplicity of tools such as game engines and many others, a financial mechanism such as Kickstarter and Patreon and Ko-Fi as well as a number of policies such as video games tax relief so this combined with the ability to create social and economic relationships with communities via early access testing and streaming like we are here today and so on that enable large-scale user engagement with all of these elements and combine to create what is a very interesting ecosystem. So the second and slightly different is the film industry so we're not talking about the high-end film virtual production we've seen so much of recently and the very famous example of that is The Mandalorian but a particular focus on what is now known as immersive storytelling now this is a genre that I would say has emerged from film festivals and the related lab and incubator programs and is a nascent economy in its own right particularly well all over the place but it's particularly in the UK This is not just a new film style or a type of art as it could appear but an area that exists because it's been supported by the creation of infrastructures for production and dissemination that have been built onto existing infrastructures of the film industry and festival circuit so we can point to Sundance and the New Frontier Program that launched in 2007 which was one of the first and this has now moved into areas like CPH DOX and the labs, Sheffield Doc Fest BFI London Film Festival and many more who have invested in this area of experimentation creating networks, knowledge transfer and distribution potential for artists and creative practice with metaverse technologies so while these adjacent fields obviously offer commercial, developmental and civic if we're talking particularly about architecture opportunities for artists experimenting with these advanced technologies something we're really keen to point to is we're not just talking about grass is greener on the other side is how these are still fragmented and of course largely commercially driven whereas we feel that for an accountable transparent evolution of this space that artistic and experimental visions need additional avenues of support indeed so this is where we see the traditional cultural organizations potentially serving an important role and as we have described just a few minutes ago kind of turning towards a more capabilities-led development of organizations is sort of one part of that piece the other part is of course policy driven because the scale of intervention that's required in order to pull this off and to pull it off well is significant so in FAE1 we pointed to a lack of infrastructural prototyping in the public cultural sector whereas you know individual artists and also the tech industry have been quite good at doing this infrastructural prototyping specifically in this art and advanced technologies area so what we propose with FAE2 are a series of vectors for kickstarting the necessary infrastructural prototyping in order to be an impactful and relevant contributor towards the construction 21st century cultural infrastructure and you know we've spoken a lot about production capabilities because that's a really obvious gap in the field and we feel strongly that investing in advanced production capabilities is something that has to happen in order for the traditional cultural organizational sector to retain a significant role in building future art ecosystems but we recognize that this is something that can't just stem from the initiation of individual organizations or you know let's say the only organizations that will be able to initiate this on their own are the very big organizations which isn't really the most ideal way for the sector as a whole to evolve for this reason we want to show an example of something that might kind of point us in the direction of a less competition driven and more what we call kind of interoperable way of investing into infrastructures so obviously there haven't been a huge amount of examples but we will have a few in this section here. This is Dream which is this example of advanced production capabilities together with interoperability so it was a live virtual production of a Midsummer Night's Dream that combined the latest gaming and theatre technology to create a shared experience between audiences, performers and actors so the project was a result of a major piece of R&D work that was supported by the Audiences of the Future Programme which was UK Research and Innovation funding through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund I knew I wasn't going to be able to say that right which in total invested just over 39 million pounds into a number of projects that developed work with sort of cutting-edge work with immersive technologies so for Dream 15 specialist organizations led by the Royal Shakespeare Company in collaboration with Manchester International Festival, Marshmallow Laserfeast and Philharmonia Orchestra brought together expertise in theatre, performance, video production, the music industry, gaming and research to explore what it means to perform live using technologies such as VR, AR and Mixed Reality and how this is shared with audiences what's happening here is that there was a development of cutting edge technologies and capabilities taking place together as part of a consortium. So that's Interoperability at the level of advanced production capabilities but there are also - would you like to do, okay I'll go for it but there's also a few other ways in which we can think about interoperability I actually wanted the diagram Kay oh sorry I got it wrong no don't worry which page was it again? It was 93. One second everything is under control. Okay so this diagram it shows it

tries to represent a notion of interoperability between organizations from the perspective of the user and let's assume that in this case the user is an artist working with advanced technologies so from their perspective having kind of a more seamless experience where you can work with different organizations that are each kind of leaders within the functions that they deliver such as you know producing engaging experiences to audiences or producing societal resources that are then redeployed by other organizations or helping and supporting artists to produce experimental artworks or equally kind of plugging in artistic practices into wider knowledge exchange projects and programs like you know at a significantly important scale so that's another way in which we conceive of Interoperability so we just wanted to make sure that we aren't you know focusing exclusively on vast production capabilities and for that reason Kay we'll show another example where you can see this from a slightly different angle. Very happy to show this example so at this point this is a very different project to what we've shown before. This is SPUR this is a residency and mentorship and support program that was developed in direct response to the pandemic supporting graduates working collaboratively online. It was produced by Chaos Magic, OMSK Social Club and D-Unit with a number of other partners including university partners and taking place in a platform developed by OMSK we share this not only because it's really great and the virtual worlds created by the residents were brilliant but it points to collaboration to undertake a specific mission in which the artist is the key user audience or stakeholder or whatever we're going to call it as well as a number of different roles that are going to be necessary so as we've already mentioned the UX of Art, let me find actually this is the right page yes the UX of Art proposes a view on how cultural institutions serve different user communities from the perspective of individual organizations, policy and funders The UX of Art both includes everyone with whom any given organization interacts and also seeks greater precision in understanding who these user communities are how that is then supported infrastructurally will enable deeper engagement with users and stakeholders which is the terminology we use in the report and this includes the skills and knowledge that underwrite the ability to facilitate this kind of artistic experimentation with advanced technologies so we're not just talking about production again just to repeat but for curating, archiving, collecting, presentation, hosting and more operational and community management positions and so on within cultural institutions so in addition oh yes I have a very long monologue here indeed but it's all connected it's all connected so in addition what is clear is that for a genuinely diverse 21st century cultural infrastructure and ecosystem of organizations we do require a more diverse range of economic and distribution models than those that are currently available so we have been looking at economic models in virtual worlds whether this is the type of closed world systems that you find in specific MMOs like Eve Online and we're just sorry we just love to show this because I love the picture or the more decentralized vision of value distribution and using user agency that is fuelled by the blockchain industry so we we talk about this in the book but we'll just talk about it again - Decentraland is an example that we look to here though there are so many others of course but just to stick to one in Decentraland users develop and own plots of land, artwork and NFTSs while members also participate in the platform's decentralized autonomous organization to be part of the governance of that virtual world so we're also talking about governance strategies as well in addition if we go to start to talk about distribution we can also point again to the video games industry in which there are obviously a number of different kinds of platforms and strategies in which creators and producers are able to get their work to audiences so we have platforms like itch.io and to the sort of more proprietary platforms App store, Google Play store and so on so what these platforms do are you know it's very obvious is creating opportunities to share and share that work directly so I think it's important to point out that we're not suggesting to copy paste or to import all of these models into the art field but nonetheless it is important to understand how the art adjacent fields as we call them propel artistic practices in the metaverse whether it's Indie game studios, crypto or professional gaming or new hybrid practices that bridge traditional fields and this new technological space so from the perspective of cultural institutions there is also a lack of recognition that the various functions that these organizations can serve the ones that we describe in those wheel diagrams are actually functions that they can serve and they are in fact perhaps already serving in embryonic form in order for that recognition to become apparent in order for it to become active actively developed and invested into and you know basically a commitment that organizations can follow through it is necessary to kind of rethink the systems of measurement that help organizations and help I think is an important word rather than hold accountable but help organizations right develop themselves into more capabilities-led organizations so with this in mind I think we can say that when we talk about the cultural sector here we don't necessarily mean it as an industrial sector but rather as a space from which you can intervene and synthesize at the intersection of culture in the broad sociological sense and technological and economic development so with kind of this definition of 21st century cultural infrastructure and understanding that we need a new set of us metrics or a new system of measurement we will be dedicating FAE3 (Future Art Ecosystems) to this precise matter so this final chapter of FAE2 is sort of a rough draft or a proposal that we'd like to discuss with all of you that you know we want to get feedback on be challenged on etc so we're very much looking forward to that in the next year and that will be part of our research process yeah exactly and I think it's really important to say that Future Art Ecosystems is an ongoing process so we are really keen to speak to anyone who is interested in this area is currently working in this area because i know that there are lots of you or would like to sort of participate in research taking place in this area so in the meantime in the meantime the short term there is a variety of additional programmes that we'd really like to share with you that's taking place in the next three months first of all um well we have two special edition podcasts called Playtesting that are presented by our wonderful Tamar Clarke-Brown and produced with Reduced Listening that are coming out this Friday focusing on Counter-Archives Intergenerational and Co-creation models in this space so please do please do subscribe wherever you get your podcasts also we have a program of workshops in collaboration with Arebyte Gallery the first of which will be led by Daniel Brathwaite- Shirley at the end of this month and we also have others with Keiken and Christopher Macinnes so please do look for those and we have a series of artists talks called Future Art Ecosystems Live with Sam Rolfes, Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Larry Achiampong and David Blandy and Robin McNicholas of Marshmallow Laser Feast many of whom are contributors to the FAE2 publication in addition and we like to do these plugs you can also sign up to our newsletter at futureartecosystems.org yes we won't bombard you with newsletters it's once a month usually unless it's hot season like now and also finally we will be releasing the Legal Lab Report One on legal issues that exist in art and tech and science collaborations so this is a result of the research process that has taken place in the Legal Lab at Serpentine led by Alana Kushnir and the report sort of dovetails with a lot of the questions that we discuss here because obviously legal infrastructure is incredibly important in supporting artistic practices of the future so the report will be launched on the 26th of July if you'd like to join us for the launch event it's at 11 30 a.m yes early on the 26th of July 11 30 a.m London time (BST)

I think that is it and I'm looking at Alex because he's the holder of the questions I'm sharing Immersive Kind's artwork today I'm gonna drop it in the chat What a celebration that's commitment yes thank you it is beautiful But to kick off the questions and one that you both know so profusely How much of the UX of Art are you already responding to at Serpentine Galleries? Lovely question lovely question do you want to take that up I'll take some of it I think it's such a good question where shall I start I think something that's really important about what we're doing is that in this moment in time that you know everyone's coming sort of through the pandemic obviously we're still in it we are turning around and looking inward and trying to understand better who our audiences are so that is a really key thing that's happening across Serpentine you know in some respects in some parts of the program that's been happening for years we can point to the really interesting and really important processes that take place through our Civic and Education programmes but we are definitely re-examining that audience relationship anything else I should add to that yeah I mean I think this sort of capabilities focus is quite important and that's definitely so this diagram is something that we are also applying to ourselves and just testing how that would pan out so I guess we're in the process of it I think these things take a lot of time which is one of the reasons why FAE is an annual publication and it's not meant to be some kind of you know final stamp on a certain set of affairs so in process. In process and it will take time and all of this stuff will take time So the next question - Should we all just go digital and what if we can't afford to? I didn't mean to laugh at that so so heartily but no is the answer to the question I think what we're trying to say is that we're not sort of fetishizing the the tools of advanced technologies and digital we really are sort of looking at we're not prescribing that everyone move to advanced tech and specialize in this area we're saying sort of a couple of different things like the metaverse is coming it is a digital condition which we all are going to have to deal with in some shape or form we just don't necessarily know what yet but what we're advocating for is organizations to focus really on their sort of capabilities and their functions but for there to be more support at a policy level to to sort of share those capabilities really I think that's what we're saying more it's really not about what an individual organization does of course that's important but what we're trying to talk about is at like the sector level absolutely and I think at the level of individual organizations I guess what we're advocating for is developing different approaches to the white cube model of course this has been happening historically but still somehow when it comes to metrics and when it comes to kind of communicating what cultural organizations do we still tend to fall into the white cube model as the kind of norm that is applied across the sector and to all organizations and I guess the first let's say kind of thing that needs to happen is for there to be a greater recognition of the diversity of outputs that organizations can produce, the diversity of value that they generate that value needs to somehow be captured in a positive way and so yes that's what we're saying so the digital I think is, the metaverse as a digital condition is more of a trigger to really think about what this ecosystem is and how it should be organized Thank you I can see Kade from New Design Congress is helping reply so shout out to Kade as well thank you thank you next question and this one's a little bit more complicated and goes back to our diagram which one Alex? I'm assuming many of them Have you explored more of these configurations of functions and capabilities and what they mean for organizations that choose those configurations so I think this is the R&D configurations sorry can you repeat it again? Cabilities and functions? One one more time; Have you explored more of these configurations of functions and capabilities and what they mean for organizations that choose those configurations. It's a good question it's a good question so I think a lot of what we're describing here with this is somewhat I mean it's somewhat based on shifts of which we're aware within other organizations but part of it is I mean it is a strategic briefing about a future that needs to be constructed so most of it is actually not in place and I think it would be actually a great research project to have a much more evidence-based let's say survey on how organizations decide to focus on specific capabilities and what that ultimately means for the way that they function for the way that they deliver on their mission so yes that's a very good suggestion as to what needs to be done. That came from our friends at Science Gallery International good question thank you. Next one a little bit more philosophical. It might be for you we love philosophy. There are only humans online aren't we disconnecting

from other species while migrating to the metaverse what are the consequences of this Do you want to answer that? What are the consequences of this. I mean well I think I thought I'd mix it up a little bit Thank you Alex we love difficult questions So whoever asked that potentially yes I mean I think we also there's an element of us sort of understanding our relationship to all of these different contexts I think that we have to understand and when we're sort of talking about the merging of physical and digital space I guess other species other entities are also part of that sort of merging of spaces so in theory no I don't think we are but I mean it is a good question it's not you know I guess we've been thinking about this very kind of practically pragmatically rather than sort of in that sort of way but I do think that of course that is really valuable it's just so interesting when you're in that sort of frame of mind of like how do we organize how do we produce and how do we organize and what's our financial model and all of this stuff that you do sort of forget those sort of broader philosophical questions yeah I mean I think there is clearly a broader environmental question around the metaverse I mean there are environmental questions around all organizational decision-making processes right all of them have some kind of environmental footprint so there isn't you know once again talking about systems of measurement this could be one of the vectors that is explored right how do we move towards a more multi-species interspecies approach to organizational design in the context of like highly technologized condition of the metaverse how do we actually how do we for lack of a better word kind of evaluate whether we are doing it whether we're doing it well etc so thank you for raising that and I think that's definitely something worth taking into account I think so and also you know when we're talking about any kind of systemic change and that's what we're talking about systemic change has to include all of these different sort of sides of what we want to change you know we need to think about the climate emergency we also need to think about you know social justice and all of these all of these points as well another difficult question well not difficult but this one's just popped in and I really like it. Is there any specific consideration for gender and race in this report especially regarding UX experience? Good question that is a very good. It follows on so just to finish I'm wondering about this as typically the tech world and adjacent industries discussed rely on data on the standard white male. It's totally true and that's why we are obviously pointing to these adjacent fields but we do not necessarily think these fields are are necessarily to be heralded as the sort of the pinnacle of how we should function on many levels and I think it comes back to this sort of point we have this good quote from the Immersive Kind and in terms of you know who is building this metaverse who is it for who's going to be represented in it and that comes down to the fact that we have a tech sector that is largely sort of a mono culture and that is also part of the drive of us wanting to sort of insert cultural institutions absolutely and diverse like a plurality of voices into these spaces so I think it may not be sort of obvious when we're talking about it in the report but I think it's like vital! Absolutely I mean the diversity of recognized aims within what organizations can pursue is a really important and implicit way of getting to that is that there are organizations that have very specific communities that they're dedicated to and so they should have an opportunity to serve these communities to the best of their abilities and to receive adequate support on a policy level to do so so I think that's one part of the question and I was like slightly kind of you know super organizational speak but I think the problem with the white cube model is precisely what you point to it's the fact that it is ultimately based on a conception of an anonymous public figure that walks into the space and is of a particular kind you know to enjoy what is on view so our desire to shift away from the white cube model as kind of the core way in which we assess how decisions are made within organizations is to be able to prioritize other communities and you know groups of individuals or certain issues that organizations might want to pursue in a way that actually evolves these practices rather than simply paying lip service to them the data part is huge you know we had an ambition to do a sub section on it but then we realized that there's no way we can do justice to it and this is going to be a really important priority in our research process for systems of measurement because it is a really huge question how do you strike a balance as we say here between kind of data-driven approaches to making decisions and organizational risk-taking that is required for innovation but also for exactly for the aim that you point to. Yeah exactly I've got a question here from an artist. Great

I'd like to shift gears a little bit. Please if I'm an artist willing to to develop work in VR, I'm pretty ready to learn Unreal and tracking systems and so on how do I find support and community and organizations that support it or do you have any practical tips. That's a lovely question I mean there are I mean this is why ultimately we have been pointing in the adjacent fields to some of the stuff that's taking place in in film because there is a really sort of generous and lively amount of work taking place particularly around Sheffield Doc Fest and CPH Dox and all of these different areas that sort of allows for networking conversations and opportunities to meet people and potentially to get funding to do these kinds of projects in addition you have other places like you know we're working with Arebyte this time around on our digital skills training sessions and they've been on this, they've been doing this for a long time so there's also those kinds of you know a number of different sort of small galleries that are able to provide these sort of skills sharing but I mean I do think that there is a need for more hence the report and you know we try and point to some of them and you know I think it would definitely be useful at some point to sort of collate all of those resources together to share like where are their opportunities but I think this is sort of the key is that you know with production there really does need to be more support in this area thank you. Yeah and maybe we'll pick it up when we speak to Sam Rolfes as well oh yes our first talk on the 29th of July that Alex the voice that you can hear will be in covnversation on Twitch. Any comments any other questions I've got several questions here from squizzy33 and one that I feel might lead into FAE3 how are the needs and interests of stakeholders being measured and collected in other words how will arts organizations know slash find out what stakeholders want I mean that's the question that's the question so that's the question but I think there is a lot of work that's being done around this for example by the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL so that's exactly the question they posed around BBC to kind of have a different paradigm for assessing the value that BBC brings to the larger media space specifically from this position because you there are no frameworks that exist and that are implemented in policy right now but these need to be developed in order for this value to be recognized, supported and made use of in the correct way I'm going to ask you a question so I can actually give some resources to the chat from FrankiedoesTwitch00 What is Serpentine doing in terms of corporate sponsorship the Serpentine has partnered with Google previously for example why is this any different thank you for that question I was hoping that someone would ask us that question if not knowing that someone would and I think it's important to say that you know the tech industry is a huge part of our kind of societal infrastructure so we don't want to pretend that that doesn't exist I think what we're trying to say is to enable some kind of leveling up between the public and the private sector I think at the moment and we sort of talk about this more in FAE1 which is around the tech industry as 21st century cultural art patron and what that kind of relationship is because we're often competing for funds in cultural organizations and that's cultural organizations and artists themselves we're often competing for funds that we've sort of created this sort of imbalanced relationship and I think finally and you can probably speak more to this is sort of a re-configuring of what public and private partnerships can actually be and I think that is something that's really important to think about as we move forward and I think there's sort of a presumption that for art and tech what you need is necessarily an art partner and a tech partner and I guess what we're arguing for here is that you can have much more multi-layered and complex constellations of capabilities-led cultural public organizations organizations from art adjacent fields and tech industry and I think when you have this sort of more multi-stakeholder paradigm of working together or figuring things out the results are also different and I think the ambitions can be different and yeah so I think that's the suggestion that we're making around this particular area of kind of public private and it's understanding what those shared sort of aims and ambitions are and I think you know we've done some brilliant projects with Google and we will continue to do those kinds of projects I think every single partnership is completely different and that's just sort of this reconfiguration as we move forward into the metaverse it's just something we need to need to consider next question from lesmoore Do you feel that institutional support has expanded artistic practice online or more insisted on a small canon and set of practices I think it's a very general question I don't know if I know the answer to that one sorry ask that again sorry one more time sorry it's late it's been a long day Do you feel that institutional support has expanded artistic practice online or more insisted on a small canon and set of practices what practices? a specific cannon of what practices? I just didn't hear the word. A small cannon and set of practices. A set of practices okay. It's difficult to say I think that there's probably a mixture of both things happening actually because it really depends what organizations and sort of what we're talking about here I guess you know maybe we do see you know there are certain scenes or you know artists that are more visible and that creates a certain kind of, through institutional support you mean? through institutional support yes and through opportunity but it's a difficult question I don't know if I know the answer to that one. I think it's very difficult to

give an overarching answer I guess if we had to be kind of true to the word and now in FAE2 we'd say that although there have been fragmented instances of where this kind of expansion happened and I guess this kind of institutional support of the kind that Kay just spoke is one example in general the predominance of the white cube model has meant that perhaps that support wasn't as extensive as it could have been if different alternative forms of support and providing development opportunities were explored so that's what we're advocating for I guess for there being a greater diversity of ways in which organizations can work with artists and that needs to be understood on both sides yes it's not just I think the organization's place but it's also kind of mutual. It's an interesting question though so thank you whoever asked that question We've only got two minutes left. Yes. So how do you envision encouraging interoperability between organizations without sharing financial or data resources? Policy. I think that's the key

and I think that's very key here that policy has to encourage that interoperability What do you think? I think exactly that and I'm just lazily scrolling to the part where we talk about it. I mean it seems like an easy cover this area is just policy it's not our business and it's not as simple as that but I think it points to something larger which is the scale of intervention and that as you know as great as it is for organizations to become more capabilities led to be more explorative in terms of how they can support artists in this field etc unless there is kind of a higher level overhaul of how the cultural sector is seen to contribute to society how its value is measured and you know appreciated or not etc none of this can really happen. And it's sort of avoiding that situation where it's on the onus of each individual organization to make that happen and figure it out for themselves, exactly Okay thank you for those questions apologies if some of them weren't answered properly I'm sorry. But we do have an option for that! We do have an option for that! If we haven't had time to get to your question please get in touch with us on our email our address is fae@serpentinegalleries.org and we'd be more than happy to have a discussion especially once we've had a little bit of time to digest some of the questions that you've asked so thank you so much for that. Thank you. Thank you. So we have reached the end of our time so to end we're just going to say thank you to everyone for being here hopefully you've enjoyed it. Thank you to

everyone who's contributed to FAE2, thank you to the Arts Technologies team, thank you to Ralph thank you to Florence, thank you to Sarah and we're going to go and have a little celebration! Bye! Bye!

2021-07-22 19:16

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