Held in São Paulo (Brazil), Mexico City (Mexico) and Bogotá (Colombia), British Council’s Altcity project aims to bring together artists from different countries and cultures to initiate interactive relations.
The project’s last leg was brought to Istanbul in collaboration with Digi.logue and British Council Turkey. In partnership with Zorlu Holding and Zorlu Performing Arts Center and led by Squidsoup, the UK-based art group, 12 artists from various disciplines attended a two-week workshop as part of AltCity Istanbul to create series of works developed with technology that tells Istanbul’s chaotic urban structure. Born as a result of these works, the exhibition “Across the Line” looks for a new sense of balance and harmony through mixed media, installation, coding, lighting, sculpture and mechanics. What lies across the line? Let’s hear from the creators.
“I’ve had the chance to observe the people of Istanbul. Each have their own cultural background, representing Turkey and Istanbul in their own ways.” Liam Bithles
An artist and academic but, most importantly, a researcher! Making creative works with digital technologies for over 20 years, Liam Bithles joined Squidsoup in 2007. In his workshop for 12 participants in Istanbul, he stated, “What’s interesting is to be in a creative process with people from different backgrounds and to see each one portray Istanbul in their own perspective.” Liam Bithles also says that artists usually work beyond the traditional, somewhere along the unusual, non-preferred and uncomfortable, and this is what makes digital arts art.
Squidsoup’s founder and creative leader, Anthony Rowe is an artist and academic experienced in digital media and interactive design. Organizing exhibitions and seminars that focus on the connection between light, space, technology and interaction, the artist believes that the digital has an influence on the urban and the rural, i.e. the society. Having directed the creative process of artists from various disciplines on how the digital affects the culture for 2 weeks at AltCity Istanbul, Anthony shared his views on the innovations brought along by digitalization.
In addition to LUX, of which he’s a co-founder with Anthony Rowe and curator, Chris Bennewith is also an essential member of Squidsoup. With international solo projects, the artist visited Turkey as part of AltCity Istanbul Residency Program and collaborated with local artists. He believes that the dynamic of different perspectives results in more active works.
“There is a cultural dimension coming to Turkey, dealing with artists from Turkish background. There has been interesting dialogues and discussions interms of how artists approach the work and our perspective.” Chris Bennewith