The Grid is incorporating art-thinking into the development of new technologies, jump-starting a conversation between artists, technologists, and policy makers from Europe, Silicon Valley and beyond.
Technological innovation has ripple effects throughout the entire world, dominating our lives in positive, and often negative ways. Society nowadays focuses on the destructive sides of technological progress.
Initiating a pioneering experiment, placing artists within research and development teams in Silicon Valley, The Grid is investigating if art-thinking can humanise technology, influence design processes, and anticipate destructive impacts. The project team is also organising multiple events in the San Francisco Bay area, Washington D.C. and New York, including workshops, conferences, and media art exhibitions. All activities build on the findings of our investigation, published in the Art+Tech Report of 2019.
- Nodes - Art + Tech Encounters: A series of monthly talks aiming to bring together artists and technologists, scholars and researchers, from both the USA and Europe to engage in a dialogue about the potential and the necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Solidarity Grid: An international solidarity raiser initiated and led by The Grid in support of the local art scene in the San Francisco Bay Area, hit by the coronavirus crisis. 100% of the donated proceeds will be distributed among local art institutions.
- The Grid Virtual Art + Tech Festival: A major art + tech showcase in Silicon Valley in September. Together with four main partner organizations (Gray Area, Codame, MUTEK.SF, and Zero1) the virtual festival offers different formats of content creation: workshops, panels, live performances, and community outreach.
- eVe Award: The eVe Award honours outstanding collaborative projects at the intersection of art and technology that have successfully implemented art thinking in tech development processes. An Open Call for the award seeks to highlight artistic collaboration between artists and technologists.
The project fills a virtual stakeholder map, bringing artists, technologists, cultural organisations and tech companies together. On this map, every stakeholder is visualized with a colour-coded dot, equally sized for e.g. both tech giants and individual artists. Everyone in art + tech is encouraged to #GetOnTheGrid, and to contribute to the growth of the network.
The project was seen by the selection committee as considerably relevant to the global context and by extension, relevant to the local one since this particular local context is quite global. The proposal was well elaborated and the selection committee saw the project as an answer to a ‘silent war’ between tech and art. The committee acknowledged the need to support the artists, which Europe has a duty to support. The committee saw potential in the strategic dialogue and partnerships the project entails, bringing together people from both worlds, helping to create a common language, and in doing so, innovative solutions to various (ethical) questions.