The opening of our Spark Gallery signals the start of a new direction for Eureka! as it’s the first time that digital art will play a significant role in your Eureka! visit. This doesn’t mean that the museum is going totally digital, but we will be using and showcasing digital learning in new and exciting ways. At a time when we regularly see headlines about the damage that screen-time and digital living is doing to our children, we know that it’s equally important to recognise the hugely positive learning resource that digital offers.
The Tate describes digital art as “art that is made or presented using digital technology”. It challenges the traditional definition of “art”, particularly due to its interactive nature. The more digitally minded our children become (and they are!), the easier it is for them to relate to the art being presented. This supports what we will be showcasing at Eureka!; some of the tech will be familiar to you, using devices you’ll find in most homes. You may not even necessarily think of it as art or you’ll start to see art in a completely new light as it involves a mix of games, installations and activities. Whatever you call it, it’ll be fun, interactive and – trust me – adults will be jostling to get involved too.
Equally exciting is the opportunity the Spark Gallery creates for Eureka! to host a series of changing temporary exhibitions, regularly giving visitors something new to explore while they are here. First up, is the really cool digiPlaySpace exhibition all the way from Canada.
Supported by Arts Council England, digiPlaySpace is a collection of 14 interactive digital art installations brought together by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Each piece in digiPlaySpace invites families or groups of children to work together through a mix of game play, manipulating tech using everyday objects or changing how it behaves by interacting and moving their bodies. Our visitors will get to use digital stop motion animation to make a dance video; create music, combining electronics with unusual objects; build and control their own robots; race virtual cars on tracks made out of, well – anything they can lay their hands on; and more.
Do you see why we’re so excited?
To make it even more exciting, and to help us celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of Eureka! in 1992, the Spark Gallery will be officially opened during our birthday weekend celebrations on 8 & 9 July, and digiPlaySpace will continue through to December 2017.
It’s going to be brilliant. But don’t just take my word for it, watch the video below for a sneak-peek…