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Smart TV Tuesday: The Space plans highbrow viewing for Freeview HD

Shakespeare’s Globe, the John Peel Centre for the Creative Arts and the London Review of Books will headline an on-demand Freeview channel from May.

The Space will be available on Freeview HD TVs and boxes with a broadband connection, via the red button.
More than 50 arts organisations will contribute hundreds of hours of video to The Space, which will be online from May to October.

The experiment is being funded by a £3.5m Arts Council England grant, to complement the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Roly Keating, the BBC’s director of archive content, said: “What excites us so much about The Space is the chance to unite the BBC’s tradition of technical innovation with our commitment to partnership and the arts.

“By bringing together the complementary skills of BBC and Arts Council in this ambitious way, we can make something really special happen to celebrate 2012’s unique summer of arts.

“And by sharing the BBC’s expertise, training and mentoring we hope there’ll be a lasting legacy, by putting digital creativity at the heart of artistic life in the UK.”

Videos will include:  

  • Shakespeare’s Globe: capturing the Globe to Globe festival, a once in a lifetime event which will see all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays performed by 37 different international theatre companies at the Globe Theatre.
  • Bristol Old Vic: Tom Morris, director of War Horse and artistic director of Bristol Old Vic, will present a unique and interactive way of replicating the emotional experience of watching live performance using the pioneering techniques developed by the BBC Natural History Unit.
  • John Peel Centre for the Creative Arts: an interactive online museum housing one of the most important archives in modern music history – DJ John Peel’s personal record collection. It will recreate his home studio with his personal notes, home movies, contributors’ stories and filmed interviews with family and musicians he brought to the airwaves.
  • Faber & Faber: 60 Years in 60 Poems, a digital journey that invites the nation to discover the past from the BBC and Arts Council archives through the prism of 60 new works from major poets in poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s Jubilee Lines anthology.
  • Philharmonia Orchestra: a radical way for audiences to discover and explore the individual role of each instrument within the orchestra with the launch of an interactive, digital experience – in partnership with The Science Museum – through Holst’s The Planets suite.
  • Alan Sillitoe Committee: a GPS-enabled mobile ‘trail app’ in the style of a 1950s illustrated cycle maintenance handbook that will explore the Nottingham of author Alan Sillitoe, based on his iconic novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.
  • London Review of Books: Re-imagining the Literary Essay for the Digital Age – the LRB will work with a leading writer and an experienced digital developer to create a new kind of multi-layered literary experience.   


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