Award for technology-art innovators backed by city law firm TLT

October 29, 2012

Bristol-based law firm TLT is sponsoring the Playable City Award, a prestigious international arts competition launched by the city’s art and media centre Watershed.

The pioneering award is part of Watershed’s exploration into the relationship between art and technology. Applicants are being invited from across the world to create a piece of technology-led public art that fuses technology and culture.

Watershed sees the idea of a playable city as a counterpoint to a ‘smart city' where technology is all about infrastructure, services and monitoring. Key theme are people, hospitality and openness which combine to enable residents and visitors to reconfigure and rewrite the city's services, places and stories.

Head of TLT’s technology & media sector and trustee of Watershed, James Touzel, said: “We are delighted to be one of the sponsors of this great international arts initiative.

“With TLT having a technology & media sector focus and with its roots in South West, we see first-hand Bristol's originality and this award is testament to the city's strong reputation as a creative hub.”

Over the past five years Bristol has put itself on the map for its street games and art in public spaces.

The winner will receive £30,000 and their work will be installed in Bristol before touring internationally.

The judging panel will be chaired by Clare Reddington of Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio and will include musician Imogen Heap, Google Labs in Sydney creative director Tom Uglow, and Claire Doherty, director of Situations, a group based at Bristol’s Spike Island Gallery working with artists to produce works outside the conventional contexts for contemporary art.

Other Bristol backers of the awards include Aardman, BDH, HP Labs, IBM, IMDB, The Bristol SETsquared Centre, Sift, Team Rubber, Thirty Three, Toshiba, University of Bristol, University of the West of England and Bristol City Council, with support from Arts Council England.

Playable City will also be working with Bristol’s Festival of Ideas on a series of talks and events to further explore the theme.

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