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Watershed launches £30,000 International Playable City Award

  • Date: 26 October 2012
  • Area: International, London, Midlands, National, North, South East, South West

Elephant at igfest. Credit: Andrew Molyneux

Watershed has launched a call for entries for a new £30,000 international award at the intersections of art, technology and culture.

Watershed is one Arts Council England's National Portfolio organisations, a cross-artform venue and producer, sharing, developing and showcasing cultural ideas and talent.

Organisations across the world are encouraged to submit proposals to use creative technologies to surprise, challenge and engage audiences.

Work from the successful project will be installed in a public space in Bristol before touring internationally.

In the last five years, Bristol has put itself on the map for its playful approach to public spaces, inviting residents and visitors to get engaged with the city and its creative and cultural future, from street art to street games.

'The Playable City' is a new term, imagined as a counterpoint to 'A Smart City'. A Playable City is a city where people, hospitality and openness are key, enabling its residents and visitors to reconfigure and rewrite its services, places and stories. It is a place where there is permission to be playful in public. The Playable City Award is part of Watershed's ongoing investigation into this theme, which will also include a programme of work with British Council in Recife, Brazil, during 2013.

Watershed's Clare Reddington says,
'The award is being co-funded by a network of creative and technology companies from Bristol to champion the city as an international hub for cutting-edge creativity. This unusual approach to sponsorship and support typifies the collaborative nature of a city where companies find a networked and open approach leads to creativity and competitive advantage.'

Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller, who recently toured Sacrilege his inflatable Stonehenge to Bristol says:
'We need to see more playfulness in our cities and public spaces. The Playable City Award encourages surprising interventions, and I look forward to seeing what is produced.'

Submissions close on 5 December 2012. The shortlist will be published in December 2012 and the winner announced in January 2013.

The Playable City Award is supported by Aardman, BDH, HP Labs, IBM, IMDB, The Bristol SETsquared Centre, Sift, Team Rubber, Thirty Three, TLT LLP, Toshiba, University of Bristol, University of the West of England and Bristol City Council. The Award is produced by Watershed and supported by Arts Council England.