16th June 2016, 9:50am
1215.today one year on: latest digital art projects revealed
1215.today Lincoln Innovation Lab The latest creative work commissioned by the 1215.today digital arts project has been revealed at a special event marking one year since the site’s launch.

1215.today is a unique online platform that enables young people to explore the legacy of Magna Carta through the lens of contemporary art.

It launched in June 2015 at Lincoln Castle as part of the international celebrations on the 800th anniversary of the sealing of ‘the great charter’ – the document regarded as the foundation of constitutional democracy.

Lincoln is home to one of only four surviving originals of the 1215 Magna Carta and the only place where it can be seen alongside an original of its ‘sister’, the 1217 Charter of the Forest.

Led by the University of Lincoln in collaboration with regional arts organisations, businesses, schools and the city and county councils, 1215.today is supported using public funding from the National Lottery through an Exceptional Award from Arts Council England and a host of national and international partners. Many of those involved in the project so far gathered at a special event held at the University of Lincoln on Friday 10th June 2016 to celebrate progress one year on.

1215.today culminates in November 2017, marking the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest and coinciding with Lincoln's Frequency Festival of Digital Culture.  Over the life of the project six commissions will be offered to artists from across the world and selected by an expert curatorial panel. As well as showcasing artistic content from across the art forms, writers, poets, journalists and academics contribute articles that link to the creative work.

Commissions to date include The Empty Throne, produced by University of Lincoln staff, students and graduates, which earlier this year received a national Learning on Screen Award. The second 1215.today commission was Time for Rights by creative technologist Tim Kindberg, an interactive mosaic of short videos revealed on United Nations’ International Youth Day 2015.

The third commission, now in its production phase, is by artist Kathrin Böhm. Her work-in-progress, called spaceREC, explores the importance of physical space in the process of creating art and was previewed at the celebration event.

Kathrin developed the concept for spaceREC through 1215.today’s Innovation Lab, working with a group of young people, a creative technologist and a sound artist in Leeds. In collaboration with co-producer Radek Rudnicki, she aims to establish a new online community that enables the sharing of sound recordings from artists’ studios linked to a location map of available low or no cost creative spaces.

Kathrin Böhm said: “Free access to public space is a fundamental democratic right and the less we experience and practise public space, the more we forget its importance. spaceREC suggests a new city wide networked public space for young creatives where the experience of the individual – and often private – creative space meets physical spaces, which are easily accessible and usable for collective events and actions.”

The fourth commission under 1215.today will also take its direction from an Innovation Lab, held in Lincoln on 11th June.  Around 20 young people gathered with a team of technologists and designers Ben Peppiatt and Stephanie Bickford-Smith to work on a concept exploring ‘the freedom to think’ in the Information Age. The workshop was hosted by staff from the University of Lincoln’s digital innovation centre, co_LAB.

Dr Sarah Barrow, Head of the Lincoln School of Film & Media and 1215.today Project Lead at the University of Lincoln, said: “The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta inspired not just celebration but also reflection on the meaning of freedom, democracy and human rights in democratic countries all over the world. 1215.today provides a platform for young people to examine these themes through art.
“It has been fascinating to see how people from different backgrounds have interpreted and presented their ideas – be they digital natives uploading created content, or established international artists responding to briefs set by the project team. As we reach one year on since 1215.today launched, we are extremely pleased to be able to showcase the latest thought-provoking work and invite young people to set the brief for the next artistic commission in the series.”
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