Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
As technology improves every day and society develops at an alarmingly rapid pace, artists must learn to quickly adapt to the changes in order to survive. It seems to be getting harder and harder to keep the attention of individuals, especially those in Generation Y and Z. People have developed an addiction to technology and the later generations cannot imagine a world without it. Whether we believe this addiction is unhealthy or not, the world is still going to exist with technology and become more dependent on it as the years progress. If arts organizations are going to survive in the future, they will have to find a way to incorporate technology into their projects.
Statues are an art form that have lost their value in this technological age. Although everyone sees statues on a daily basis, most of us never stop to examine them. Statues have become a meaningless figure, a piece of furniture in our hectic lives. Statues are filled with a rich historical and artistic context that has long been forgotten.
Sing London is a non-profit arts organization that started in 2007 and aim to make cities happy by bringing city-wide events that everyone can engage in. Sing London’s latest project is “Talking Statues”, an arts initiative to engage the public with the statues that surround them. 29 statues throughout London and Manchester were given voices, a prerecorded speech about who the statue is and their significance in history. Anyone can scan their smartphone over the bar code on the statue and will receive a call from the prerecorded voice.
Almost everyone nowadays owns a smartphone and uses it like it’s their job. People like to be connected to the world at all times, so asking someone to turn off their smartphone at an arts event is like a death sentence. However, this event is short, informal, interactive and a creative approach to audience engagement. As emerging arts managers, it is our job to incorporate technology in a way that has never been done before.
Colette Hiller, the brains behind this whole operation, is American-born and hopes to bring this idea to D.C., Chicago, and New York is 2015. I hope that plans to transfer this to the States follows through. I think this project would be a major breakthrough for U.S. arts appreciation and a great model for existing arts organizations.