More delays haunt The Public gallery

The Public’s interactive digital exhibition, Public Gallery, will remain closed until Septem ber, following a technical hitch.

The Public’s interactive digital exhibition, Public Gallery, will remain closed until September, following a technical hitch.

The beleaguered West Bromwich-based pantheon to community arts and culture The Public finally opened at the end of June, two years after its scheduled launch date.

However, the gallery remains shut due to a problem with networking the digital works. ‘There have been technical issues with the installation,’ admits a spokeswoman for The Public. ‘Each individual piece is linked up to a central backbone, where the problem is believed to be. This is not a big drama,’ she adds.

Public Gallery features 12 works by designers including interactive consultancy All of Us, interior designer Ben Kelly and artists Blast Theory, Usman Haque and Marie Sester.

A scheduled period of user testing for the gallery is now planned to take place at the end of August. ‘Public Gallery is not yet ready to receive ticketpaying visitors. We are a technology-heavy space that can only work when it has been thoroughly tested,’ The Public told Design Week in a press statement.

All of Us helped design and develop the artworks’ visitor interfaces. The consultancy’s senior project manager Hana Sutch says, ‘The burden of responsibi lity for this does not lie with any one consultancy or artist. Our software, as with every piece of hardware, technology and software in the gallery, needs to integrate with the Public Gallery’s central back – bone, network and systems.’

The interactive element was initially to be handled by Land Design Studio, which worked on the project seven years ago, before the contract was taken up by Digit, and later All of Us.

Land Design Studio creative director Peter Higgins says, ‘We thought the project was developing strangely, so we decided to leave it. It turns out that we were right. I just don’t understand why it is taking so long.’

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