Pervasive Media Studio supports a creative community to make extraordinary and inspiring work. We foreground the power of art and the imagination to direct technology towards a more inclusive, playful, and sustainable world. Each year the team write a report for our funders (Watershed, Arts Council England, UWE Bristol and the University of Bristol). This brings together our projects and the stories that Residents tell us about their work; collected through conversations, observations and a survey that we ask them to complete. It is a vital part of us being able to continue to exist, so THANK YOU to everyone that shared their work with us.
In publishing the report this year, and while we celebrate the community's achievements, we want to highlight that things are really tough for them. Giving free work space to artists in Bristol city centre has never felt more radical and necessary to combat gentrification, low wages and the increasing difficulty around funding R&D. We also know how exhausting it can be for creatives to have to continually justify what they do in an ideological context that doesn't seem to value community and culture.
The results of our survey demonstrate some amazing successes, our community reached nearly 130 million people with their projects, but also some areas of real concern; annual turnover was down approximately £11.5k per resident, and we read many accounts of the heartache of trying to make work in a cost of living crisis, and of people having to leave the sector to survive.
We will be working with our Residents in the coming months to explore the hardships they are facing, the ways we could offer more support, and how we might create more space for solidarity.
Individuals, companies, organisations (and countries) are often encouraged to equate success with growing - project reports tend to say 'we invested x much and it resulted in X much more' or 'we were x big last year but we must have done the right things because now we are X big'. This report is a story of brilliant and important work taking place which, as ever, keeps us hopeful that things can change - but we can't keep selling a story of growth in a context that just can't sustain it.
Please read the full report here: Pervasive Media Studio activity Report 2022/23