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Hacking the Barbican

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by Startacus Admin

Feature: Hack the Barbican

At Startacus we love it when ambitious and innovative folk get together to create something new and exciting!

Last week we featured the Stendhal Festival of Music and Art and so inspired were we that we set off in search of other equally original arts hack the barbicanevents and found something very interesting indeed which is taking place for the whole of August at The Barbican in London.

For those of you who don't know, the Barbican is Europe's largest multi-arts venue and is home to a mind dazzling variety of music, art, theatre, dance, film and pretty much anything else you can think of! During the month of August the venue is going into overdrive as its public spaces are being gradually invaded by 100 popup installations, performances, workshops and discussions - a process which has been given the fitting name of Hack the Barbican. All sounds very nice, but what makes this more than just another exhibition? Lots as it happens...

It has been described as a playground for the arts, technology and entrepreneurship as well as the largest collaboration between artists and technologists the UK has ever seen - and that pretty much sums it up. Over the past six months people from all walks of life including performers, scientists, sculptors, teachers, graphic designers and musicians have been meeting weekly to create the various elements of the event.

hack the barbicanEach project has been treated as an entirely independent venture with no central curation or commissioning, meaning that those involved have had to undertake all aspects of bringing their vision to life - in short each has become something of a mini startup. Such an approach to exhibition is a huge deviation from the norm and we think it’s great that so many people are being given a low risk opportunity to discover their entrepreneurial side in a way that is fun, collaborative and creative!

True to the ethos of the emerging hacker culture, many of the projects involve stretching the uses of technology and people’s perception of it in a clever and often playful way. Using exhibition and art to help encourage people to think differently about technology is a very worthwhile activity, as it's this kind of thinking which has helped spawn some of the most successful startups in recent times.

The month is featuring such innovative events as a laptop orchestra performance, a digital archaeological dig and an interactive 'cave of sounds' as well as a week-long neurological experiment tracking the brain's reaction to all these experiences via a electroencephalogram cap - now try saying that three times fast! Appreciated that there's only 11 days to go...but....

Whether or not you have much interest in art, technology or starting up a business, Hack the Barbican is shaping up to be an exciting and original collaborative month! Why not check out their website for more details of what you can still catch and where...

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Published on: 20th August 2013

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