What is UNBOXED 2022 and what’s happening in NI

What is UNBOXED 2022 and what’s happening in NI

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is a celebration of creativity taking place across the UK in 2022, designed to reach millions and bring people together. It features free, large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences in an ambitious showcase of creative collaboration.

Produced by some of the brightest minds in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, UNBOXED features ten major, multi-site and digital creative projects that share new ideas and possibilities for the future. Events and activities will take place from 1 March to 2 October 2022 from the Outer Hebrides to Dover and from Omagh to Swansea, and across traditional and online media.

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK and is commissioned and delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, Creative Wales and EventScotland.

Five commissions in UNBOXED’s landmark programme will see events taking place at sites across Northern Ireland.

  • A scale version of our solar system (Our Place in Space) is designed by artist Oliver Jeffers and will be staged across 10km sculptural trails in counties Antrim, Derry and Down as well as in Cambridge, England. Produced by Nerve Centre Collective, led by arts organisation the Nerve Centre, the commission, which will include an interactive augmented reality app and learning and events programmes, invites us to consider our relationships with each other from the perspective of our place in space.
  • Derry~Londonderry is one of several locations for a commission (About Us) that will immerse audiences in 13.8 billion years of history from the Big Bang to the present day using innovative 3D projection mapping technology combined with poetry, music and science.
  • Augmented reality, new developments in 3D internet technology and young creatives shape one of the most ambitious living history and archive projects ever undertaken in 15 UK towns and cities (StoryTrails) including Omagh.
  • Audiences in Belfast will be immersed in sound and light in an artwork experienced with closed eyes that explores the limitless potential of the human mind (Dreamachine).
  • 20,000 people are being invited to create vast outdoor artworks lighting up some of the UK’s outstanding landscapes using new technology to create compelling online experiences (Green Space Dark Skies)

Render of Our Place in Space sculpture trail

Central to UNBOXED are extensive learning and public participation opportunities reaching hundreds of thousands of school children, young people and communities. These opportunities include invitations to take part, shape and deliver UNBOXED through school poetry and coding competitions, community workshops, citizen science projects and new employment and skills development opportunities for diverse young creatives and freelancers. There are also partnerships with the BBC, British Council RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) that will further global conversations about the role of creativity and innovation in society.

Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer, UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, said: “Hundreds of creatives from across science, technology, engineering, arts and maths are creating extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime events and online experiences for millions in the UK’s biggest and most ambitious public creative programme to date. UNBOXED represents an unprecedented and timely opportunity for people to come together across the UK and beyond, taking part in awe-inspiring projects that speak to who we are while exploring the ideas that will define our futures.”

Dame Vikki Heywood DBE, Chair of Board, UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, said: “As society adapts to the ever-evolving digital revolution and we see our innate creativity play an increasingly important role in all our futures, UNBOXED explores the power of collaboration to generate new possibilities for the way we live, work and play. The programme will support economic recovery in the UK by reanimating towns and cities and expanding our connectivity through new online communities. As the programme unfolds, it will both entertain us and inspire us to imagine what the future might hold by combining the creative powers of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.”

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK

1 March to 2 October 2022 


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