The Space – an online feast of culture

The BBC and Arts Council England have just launched The Space, an online arts service where you can see live performances, view exhibitions and, perhaps most excitingly, rummage in John Peel’s record collection.

The Space homepage
The Space homepage

Yes, the site, which went live on 1 May, features a virtual recreation of the legendary DJ’s home studio, which visitors can explore to their heart’s content, even going as far as to pick individual records from shelves (you can have a go here).

The Space – which is also available on Freeview HD channel 117 – is being billed as a pop-up arts space, and will run for six months showcasing some of this summer’s top cultural events (including happenings from the 2012 Festival, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Cultural Olympiad).

A virtual recreation of John Peel's studio
A virtual recreation of John Peel’s studio

The project is a partnership between the ACE and the BBC, with ACE providing the content (53 individual commissions throughout the summer) while the BBC provides the platform.

The Space’s brand identity has been created by Intro Partnership, while UX League has worked on the user experience and site design.

The Space homepage
Browsing John Peel’s record collection

Highlights in store for this month include live-streamed performances of David Shrigley’s opera Pass the Spoon, from the South Bank, and the Breakin’ Convention hip hop extravaganza at Sadler’s Wells.

The site also features a series of the very first films from directors including Ridley Scott, Stephen Frears and Ken Russell, all from the BFI archive.

The Space identity by Intro Partnership
The Space identity by Intro Partnership

And treats to come over the next six months include a literary essay from Will Self, streamed productions of Shakespeare plays to mark World Shakespeare Festival, a live Stockhausen performance from Birmingham Opera, and more (much more) of John Peel’s record collection.

The Space, at thespace.org and Freeview channel 117, is in operation until the end of October.

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