Art on your iPhone – thanks to Bristol digital pioneers

May 11, 2012

An app that brings random artworks from Damien Hirst, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet and others to mobiles has been developed by Bristol digital agency Thought Den and London’s world-renowned Tate Gallery.

Magic Tate Ball takes its inspiration from the iconic Magic 8 Ball app. Users simply shake their Apple iPhone and the app presents them with an artwork that is linked to their life at that moment by using the date, time-of-day, location, live weather data and ambient noise level.

The artwork is selected from the Tate’s vast collection and includes pieces by Hirst, Tracey Emin, Picasso, Henri Matisse, Monet and many more.

Tate Media creative director and head of content Jane Burton said: “I love the serendipity of discovering art through Magic Tate Ball. We hope it will please both existing Tate fans and new audiences who are interested in a more playful experience than cultural institutions typically offer.”

Magic Tate Ball will find an appropriate piece of art wherever the user is in the world. For instance, on a sunny day, users can share in Constable’s appreciation of the great British landscape. When it’s raining they might encounter Matisse’s Snail. Or in a noisy pub they might get a Georg Baselitz sculpture made with a chainsaw. Each work comes with a Twitter-sized informative write-up. A hidden bonus feature in the app can only be activated when the user visits Tate Modern.

Thought Den creative director Ben Templeton said: “Magic Tate Ball is an everyday, playful way of reaching an audience outside the more formal environment of a gallery. For each artwork we wanted to find a trigger in the user’s immediate surroundings which would help them engage with the work.”

Jane Burton added: “We were impressed by the ideas and creative enthusiasm of the Thought Den team. They have grasped the brief and delivered two games which are fun as well as educational.”

Magic Tate Ball is available in the Nokia OVI Store at, and from the Apple App Store at



Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.