King's Cultural Institute creates a distinctive first point of engagement for the cultural sector and offers enhanced, specialist support for King’s academics in their collaborations with artists and cultural organisations. By connecting artists and arts organisations with the College’s rich variety of research expertise and multi-disciplinary strength across its many Schools, the Institute aims to generate new forms of exchange, engagement and collaboration, test new ideas, stimulate new partnerships and reach out to new audiences.
In March 2013 King’s Cultural Institute introduced its Knowledge Producers programme. This project has created formal partnerships between the College and three award-winning creative producers: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Fuel Theatre and Headlong.
These organisations’ directors and artists have entered into conversations with King’s academics from an array of disciplines. In each case, they are exploring specific themes to be presented in public settings - as live performance, installation, film and digital work, in or around King’s College London, as well as in other locations nationally.
Knowledge Producers creates a space for KCL researchers to shape original and challenging art. Bringing their varied expertise to these projects, they have encouraged their producing partners to question, reflect and explore new terrain. In return, the academics have been given unique insights into the creative process of cultural production.
The creative team of 1984 and Headlong's associate artist, Sarah Grochala, have been collaborating with academics from King’s College London to ask the question: if Big Brother is always watching, how is he watching us now? Together they have been exploring the relationship between the systems of surveillance described in Orwell’s novel and the operation of surveillance in contemporary Britain.
The 1984 Digital Double app, designed in partnership with design studio M/A, is the first fruit of that collaboration. Central to the app is the idea of the digital double: the online identity that is generated by each of us through our use of digital technology and tracked by organisations whose interests range from marketing to national security. Headlong and King's have created an interactive platform through which users can discover their own personal digital double and find out more about how to prevent Big Brother from watching their every move.
The app also includes filmed interviews with two of Headlong’s primary collaborators – Dr Btihaj Ajana of Digital Humanities and Professor Alex Callinicos of European and International Studies – in which they discuss Orwell’s novel and its relevance to the world today.
King’s Cultural Institute is presenting a full programme of exhibitions, screenings, performances and events throughout the 2013 - 14. Please visit www.kcl.ac.uk/cultural/whats-on for more information.