UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK
This project explores sustainable creative practices and transformative R&D processes within UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK – the UK-wide programme of cross-sector and STEAM-induced creativity, taking place between March and October 2022. The central research questions revolve around use of immersive storytelling and co-creative interaction in generating participatory experiences; use of emerging technologies in connecting diverse audiences and building inclusive communities; technologies of world-building and innovative production modes in creating (hybrid) festival experiences; sustainable business models in the post-pandemic context and socio-economic legacies related to the UNBOXED festival.
Environmental sustainability has emerged as a central topic within the UNBOXED commissions – Dandelion by Aproxima Arts creates vertical farms of perpetual light and rediscovers community-led growing as a creative act; Green Space Dark Skies by Walk the Plank tackles light pollution in an outdoor artwork of lightning choreography; See Monster by Newsubstance transforms a decommissioned North Sea offshore platform into a public art installation featuring waterfalls and gardens harvested by renewable energy. Another group of projects explores the themes of diversity and inclusion – StoryTrails by StoryFutures uncovers untold cultural histories through remixing BFI and BBC archives into AR and VR immersive experiences in 15 locations across the UK; Galwad by Collective Cymru reimagines a future of radical inclusivity through transmedia storytelling and world-building techniques; Dreamachine by Collective Act explores perceptual diversity through kaleidoscopic visions experienced with closed eyes; PoliNations by Trigger establishes parallels between bio-, cultural and gender diversity in community-grown city gardens and 40-foot-tall architectural trees. The promotion of universal values through reconsidering human experiences in a cosmic context has emerged as a common narrative in the projection-mapping show About Us by 59 Productions featuring video poetry and live choir performances, the AR app and 10-km sculptural trail of the solar system Our Place in Space by Nerve Centre, and the traveling fest of counterculture Tour de Moon by Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios.
In this context, this research project aims to explore whether the thematic and cross-disciplinary compositions of the UNBOXED commissions can be understood as symptomatic of the role creative R&D and innovation could play in driving solutions to societal challenges.
Dr Lora Markova
Loughborough University London
Dr Lora Markova is a Research Associate at the Creative Research and Innovation Centre (CRAIC) at the Institute for Media and Creative Industries at Loughborough University London and her research and publications focus on creative innovation, transcultural aesthetics, and media arts. Lora’s PhD (Cum Laude 2017) was completed at Deusto University, Bilbao with research mobilities at Goldsmiths University of London and University of Birmingham. Her professional background involves positions at the former Netherlands Media Art Institute-NIMk, Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage-ICN, Greenpeace International (Amsterdam), the European Commission (Brussels), plus she has served as EACEA/2007 Expert for the EU Culture and MEDIA programmes. As a visual artist, she has presented moving image at LOOP: Barcelona, Not Still Art Festival New York, Glitch Montreal, Miami Short, among others.