Beck’s Launches Global Cultural Commissioning Project

Beck’s Green Box Project Launched at Village Underground in early July in London,. The event is one of the world’s largest cultural commissioning project. Beck’s is collaborating with more than 30 of the world’s leading creatives in art, design, music and fashion to create exclusive works, which will be installed in Green Boxes across seven international cities. (Photo by Fred Duval/Getty Images for Beck’s)The Green Box Project, commences in seven international cities including London & New York. The Beck’s Green Box project lands in London with record label/artists’ collective LuckyMe stepping up to the plate along with Austra. In the second of our features on the project – hailed as the world’s first augmented reality gallery – we spoke to Dom Sum Flannigan, creative director of LuckyMe about its contribution, and what it all might mean for the art world. LuckyMe traces its roots back to the Glasgow School of Art where the strong local music scene and the visual communication course had a heady, two-way relationship. Starting life as a record label releasing hip-hop, pop, experimental and underground dance, LuckyMe has gone from strength to strength, organising events, legendary parties and designing art for the music industry.“The Green Box Project came together very quickly,” Dom told It’s Nice That. “Our contribution is a synopsis of the releases so far and so drew from the visual identity of each of our artists. “In brief, we’re making these 2.5 metre 3D eyeballs appear to float in the street and as you walk around the green box, it will know you have moved and so it will change to the next eyeball, each representing and playing our artists’ music. The style of the eyes were informed by the B-side labels on our 12″s – which have changed for each release.”Original thoughts around producing a noise-cancelling box that silenced the street traffic through the users’ headphones had to be jettisoned because it was too complex, but Dom is delighted with what LuckyMe has ultimately produced.In the end I decided what this technology allowed us to do is represent what we’ve already created with the label in one really accessible new multi-media format. Extrude the print design to 3D – give it a sympathetic feel of movement and animation and place it along side the music, spinning and rotating just as the 12″ would. At the launch event for the Beck’s Green Box Project, brand manager Andy Logan reminded the audience that this is the 25th year of Beck’s Art Labels, and of the fact that the beer brand was the first to use green bottles instead of the standard brown. In continuation of both its connection with the arts and its self-consciously pioneering spirit, Beck’s Green Box Project is an international augmented reality commissioning programme, which seeks to enable hundreds of digital works of art over three years. The resulting commissions will be viewable via the Beck’s Key app, which uses GPS and visual markers to display the creative contents of the two metre-cubed green boxes. The app also allows users to search for their closest Green Box and receive updates about the artists involved, creating what Beck’s has billed as ‘the world’s first global networked augmented reality gallery’.  British fashion photographer Nick Knight, who is co-curating the project, expanded on his enthusiasm for augmented reality: ‘This feels like a new art form; the juxtaposition between the world we see and the world we’re going to be allowed to see through the technology.’ To mark the launch, a 200-foot high digital sculpture by Belgian artist Arne Quinze was unveiled on top of the Statue of Liberty in New York and 30 further pieces of art have been commissioned from different creative disciplines. The commissions span seven cities and the artists involved include UK food scientists Bompas & Parr, US illustrator Sage Vaughn and Toronto-based opera trio Austra. These initial exhibits, Logan explained, are ‘a call to action for as many independent thinkers as possible’ as Beck’s seeks to commission hundreds more digital artworks, conceived by members of the public, throughout 2012.  Matt Hardisty, strategy director for Mother London, who worked on the project, commented on the marketing potential of the distinctive green boxes: ‘We are trying to represent a different kind of gallery, but from an advertising point of view this is also a different kind of billboard – they will be situated in these areas for between two weeks and two months.’  There is still time to enter.

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