Announcing the Geek in Residence teams
Geeks open gateways for the arts
The Council for the Arts has matched tech-savvy ‘geeks’ with nine selected arts organisations to help them explore a new world of digital possibilities.
Geeks will share their passion for solving technological problems in creative environments, helping arts workers be better equipped to work in digital spaces. The Geek in Residence program offers intensive professional development for artists and organisations in their home environment.
“This is not about having someone to provide IT support, or populate Facebook for six months,”. “It’s about increasing the skills and confidence of the people behind the arts organisations and then watching new ideas flow.”
“Of course we’ll see some web development, taking the companies into the Web 2.0 realm. But, for example, we’ll also see one of the geeks dusting off a 60 year archive of orchestral recordings – digitising it, repurposing it and bringing it off the shelf and back to life. Another will be working on electronic data interchange for literary publishers, another on an ambitious cross-platform project combining live and online performances.”
“What’s important is that they’re not just going to build something and walk out. It’s a collaborative process, and the impact of their work will be felt well after the geek has left the building.”
The call for Geeks attracted around 120 applications, all of whom were praised by the selection panel.
“It was extremely difficult to narrow the field down”. “We ended up shortlisting three geeks per host so that the hosts themselves could get a real sense of the right fit for their needs. Country Arts South Australia was so impressed by their shortlist that they’ve taken on all three!”
Brisbane based host, University Press Queensland is attracted to digital opportunities by the flood of emerging writers keen to develop their profile in the new media space. Their geek will be on the front line of this work, setting up new systems to deliver published work digitally via iPhones and the iPad, but also looking at integrating digital technologies with the physical bookshop.
Two placements are in Tasmania, where the first stage of the National Broadband Network will roll out next month. This provides an opportunity to push the boundaries with high speed broadband and for the arts sector to demonstrate what’s possible with this new infrastructure.
“The National Broadband Network will change the way we make and share artistic practice, not only across the country but across the world. So we’ll be watching the Tasmanian geeks closely because they’re working on things that we simply haven’t yet seen in this country. Their actions now will establish models of digital usage soon to be reflected throughout the arts industry and beyond. They’ll also show us what kind of investment is needed, not just in infrastructure but in training for artists, organisations and users.”
The nine teams have begun work and each will share their outcomes as they go, via the program blog - http://www.artsdigitalera.com – providing useful lessons for the broader sector.
Geeks have been placed at: Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Country Arts SA, IAD Press in Alice Springs, Salamanca Arts Centre, Shopfront in Sydney, Sydney Dance Company, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, University of Queensland Press and West Space Inc in Melbourne.
Read this release on the Australia Council website: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/news/news_items/2010/geeks_open_gateways_for_the_arts
The full teams are as follows:
9 Hosts, 13 Geeks. All Hosts receive approx $25,000 towards Geek salary.
• Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (Contact: Peter McKay. Geek: Logan Macdonald).
• Country Arts SA (Contact: Steve Mayhew. Geek: Steven Pickles with support from Cindi Drennan and Paul Gardner-Stephen).
• IAD Press (Contact Lisa Stefanoff. Geek: Ben Foley).
• Salamanca Arts Centre (Contact: Rosemary Miller. Geek: Rodney Berry with support from Raena Jackson-Armitage & Peter Morse).
• Shopfront: Contemporary Arts and Performance (Contact: TJ Eckleberg. Geek: Dermot McGuire).
• Sydney Dance Company (Contact: Matt White. Geek: Peter Greig)
• Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (Contact: Nicholas Heyward. Geek: Dan Andrews, support from Peter Morse).
• University of Queensland Press (Contact: Greg Baines. Geek: Ri Liu).
• West Space Inc (Contact: Phip Murray. Geek: Lauren Brown).
We also now have a ‘man at the NBN’ :
• Australia Council’s National Broadband Network (NBN) Geek (Contact: Fee Plumley. Geek: Peter Morse).
We would like to wholehearted thank everyone who applied and invite you to share the ongoing journey… more info to come!
UPDATE: Geek in Residence is now OPEN!