The Space - The Arts - Free and on-demand



The Space was an online partnership between Arts Council England and the BBC to provide a dynamic new space for artists and audiences to invent and explore digital art, live, free and on-demand. The pilot service was available online from May 2012 to October 2013. Artists were encouraged to try new things, experts provided context information and the public could change their experience of, for example a theatre play, by choosing specific cameras to watch the play.

As an example of the BBC concept of a Digital Public Space, it was more than a window to part of the BBC archive. It was a place for artists to experiment. The website also offered audiences worldwide the opportunity to watch UK culture when they wished, including early ‘try-outs’ to world premiere live events or a recording of backstage during a theatre play.

Arts Council England and the BBC are now working together, using what they learned from the pilot, to develop a future service, which they plan to launch in 2014. The evaluation summary, five case studies by arts organisations whose works were commissioned for The Space and latest videos are available.

The original content is archived and momentarily not accessible. The Space Journey shows some of the highlights, together with some commentary from those who have contributed to the creation of this new digital service for the arts.


Inspiring example of the way a broadcast or AV-archive can play a role in arts and cultural heritage public markets, providing access as well as stimulating the creation of new art and new ways to experience it.

Hanneke Smulders