[ISEA2022] Institutional Presentation: Christopher Bailey — UNESCO Creative Cities of Media Arts: the City to City initiative

Institutional Presentation Statement 

CCCB Auditorium, June 14th Session: Heritage community and citizenship

Keywords: Media Art, Creative Cities, UNESCO, Sustainable Development Goals, Collaboration

This presentation describes a collaborative project of Media Arts Cities as part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Beginning in 2020 the City to City project provided opportunities for artists to work together on newly commissioned works of media art, which were then exhibited together as an online exhibition.

There are now 22 UNESCO Creative Cities of Media Arts, the first having been designated in 2013. The Media Arts Network adopted a plan to collaborate over the achievement of a number of objectives relating to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. A joint commissioning project was proposed in 2019 as a way for media artists to explore creative practice in all the cities in the Network.

The inaugural City to City program involved nine cities and ten artists, and an exhibition of the five digital artworks was launched in December 2020. Despite the challenges resulting from the COVID pandemic, the project was held to have been successful and the decision was made to run the project again in 2021 with appropriate modifications.

We conclude that we succeeded in developing an innovative approach to artistic collaboration, that we provided much needed employment during a difficult period, that the resulting exhibition drew the participating cities closer together, permitting the growth of bi- and multilateral relationships. https://mediaartscities.com/city-to-city

  • Chris Bailey (UK) is Emeritus Professor of Cultural History at Leeds Beckett University and Visiting Professor at York St. John University. He served on the committee of Computers and the History of Art (CHArt), editing and carrying out research on digital visual culture. He has been active in regional arts development since the 1970s. He helped form the Guild of Media Arts in York in 2015, served as its first Master and is currently its Clerk. He represents the Guild as the Focal Point of York UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.