UK broadcaster creates moblogging site to capture Britain’s art

Filed as Multimedia on March 27, 2007 3:09 pm

UK TV broadcaster Channel 4 has announced that it is to set up a moblogging (mobile blogging) web site and open it up to the British public to help capture the vast array of public art around the country.

The “Big Art Mob” aims to grow into a comprehensive nationwide map of public art. Anyone with a mobile phone can take part, by taking photos, text, video and audio to the web site.

Using a combination of Google Maps, a geo-coding facility and tags created by the senders and viewers alike, these photos and moblog ‘posts’ will collectively form an interactive map to celebrate and preserve the country’s wealth of public art.

Channel 4 hope to build this community resource over the coming year, ahead of the “Big Art Project” TV series.

The project will be highly interpretive, with the public deciding exactly what ‘public art’ is. How far does it extend beyond the sculptures that first come to mind? Does graffiti count? Does it have to be inanimate?

Adam Gee, Channel 4’s commissioning editor, New Media, says, “There’s no comprehensive map of the UK’s public art, simply because there’s so much of it. But now, with a combination of networked media and people power, for the first time it’s an achievable public challenge. As well as documenting the richness and diversity of our public art, the Big Art Mob will highlight the fun of moblogging and provide the base for a lively, visually-oriented, UK-centred arts community.”

This is the first UK TV project to launch its interactive dimension and integrate community networks so long before TV broadcast.

The mobile blogging technology behind Big Art Mob has been developed by moblogUK, the technology arm of popular mobile blogging site, moblogUK.

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