Illustration by Stacey Olika for The Fight for Data Rights, an article highlighting actions we can take as a community to impro

Illustration by Stacey Olika for The Fight for Data Rights, an article highlighting actions we can take as a community to improve issues of data privacy

Meet Container: the new online magazine about creative technology

Posted on Fri 20 Nov 2020

Launching today, Container puts the spotlight on the people and processes behind creative tech, and provides a platform for voices outside the mainstream.

Container, a new online magazine all about creative technology, launches today. The magazine will be a home for different stories about creative technology: an emergent and expansive field that harnesses the powers of technology for social and cultural means. For years, technology in the media has been largely limited to “techno-heroic” stories of the successful individual, big technology and corporate gain. Container seeks to redress the balance and raise up a messy multiplicity of voices - ones that question, dissent and explore. Voices that are often less heard in creative technology, and in the media in general, and that have different, interesting and important stories to tell.

Based in Bristol and born out of a long-term collaboration between Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio - the heart of creative technology R&D in the city - and UWE Bristol’s Creative Economies Lab, alongside leading creative and technology-based labs and research centres across the South West, Container reports from the cutting edge of creative tech. It is driven by a passion for sharing these stories, that resonate with and impact on so many of our lives, with the wider world. Container’s outlook is international, aiming to connect perspectives from Bristol, Bath and the South West with what’s happening elsewhere in the UK and across the globe.

There will be three issues of Container each year, featuring a handful of stories in a variety of formats - audio, video and written. This first issue, launching in November, explores the fight for data rights, the future of performance post-pandemic, the mainstreaming of digital activism and queer perspectives on VR.

More information on Issue 1’s articles:

Queering VR (podcast)
Get better acquainted with both queerness and VR as this episode’s guests - Freya Campbell, Harry Silverlock and Tessa Ratuszynska - explore what it means to bring queer perspectives to the predominantly straight world of VR. Inherent jankiness, DIY attitudes and hacking are all discussed, alongside creating safe spaces and working with queer communtiies. As well as a survey of queer VR content currently available, they invite us to think about the opportunities and imaginations a queer VR future brings...

The Future of Performance Post-Pandemic (long read)
2020 is known, amongst other things, as the year culture went online. Jennifer Lucy Allan explores different perspectives on the abrupt dissolution of the live sector, and its subsequent move online. How are individuals and organisations adapting and evolving, and can technologically mediated live events save an industry from collapse?

The Fight for Data Rights (illustrated article)
The advent of Covid, and our subsequent mass movement online where privately owned platforms are used as public infrastructure, has led to renewed discussion on data and privacy. We explore the fight for data rights and the new models available to us: data unions, data commons, data cooperatives.

Taking Up Space: Conversations About Digital Activism (roundtable live online event, Thu 26 Nov, 18:00)
Why occupy social media platforms for social activism? What does the new wave of Instagram friendly images and explainers do for a movement? Join a brilliant panel of artists and activists to explore the mainstreaming of allyship and how it impacts radical changemaking… Guests include Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, an artist working in animation, sound, performance and video games to communicate the experiences of being a Black Trans person; Grace Kress, the founder of Shelby X Studios, which merges art and activism to build community, create educational resources and share accessible information that counters harmful mainstream narratives; Josephine Gyasi a Creative Producer and spoken word artist who, as part of Rising Arts Collective’s Whose Future campaign, has recently launched a video and call to action entitled ‘What are your plans?’. It is curated and hosted by Roseanna Dias, a Bristol based producer, curator and facilitator interested in creativity and social change.

Alice Quigley, who heads up Container’s editorial team, said:

“We are launching Container at a strange, surreal and quite scary time. But now, more than ever, we need to create space for more nuanced discussions, better representation and a wider variety of creative approaches. Creative technology is often about using technology to explore alternative ways of being, thinking and acting, and of creating a future that is fair and liveable. In this sense, creative technology can provide hope and purpose during the very challenging times we are living through. Myself and the editorial team want Container to become an online space for the creative technology community - a place where people can contribute and listen to interesting and diverse discussions about the many facets of creative technology. We hope you enjoy digging into the first issue.”

Future plans for Container include opening up a call for pitches for the next issues, as well as setting up a “Residency” slot: an open commission for artists, writers or content creators of any kind to create something in response to an aspect of creative technology.