The municipality's work in smart art is about strengthening the artist's and art's role in society, by finding a new practice for how we can implement the knowledge and competence that lies in the art and the artists.
Artists make a living by touching people, evoking their emotions and making people connect with what surrounds them. The city of Stavanger believes these skill sets can enhance any urban development process and make better cities. This aspect will also be one of the contributions to strengthening the artist economy, in addition to foster producers and industry players who can connect the artist with assignments in other industries.
Through the smart art initiative, we also collaborate with the University of Stavanger, which through a European research network called «art, design and sustainability», wants to introduce an aesthetic dimension in the concept of sustainability, which we know from the UN.
Background - smart art and art as knowledge
Stavanger municipality is the only smart city with a pronounced commitment to smart art. The very concept of "smart art" is new and therefore, to a small extent defined. However, we see that innovation and technology environments around the world increasingly recognize the value of art and the artist knowledge, as a prerequisite, for innovation and change.
In the municipal sub-plan for art and culture 2018-2025, the City of Stavanger has stated as an overriding goal that we shall promote art as a central driving force in the development of society. In combination with the smart city's roadmap and strategic business plan for the period 2018-2022, this lays down guidelines for the smart art investment.
In close dialogue with the artist community in the region and nationally, and through open and exploratory collaboration, we want to establish smart art as a concept that connects the power of art and the knowledge and competence that lies in art and the artist.
Urban development: New practice in the municipality's planning work
To create a better city to live in, we want to promote art as an essential contribution of knowledge into the planning work. Then, the municipality needs new practice and new structures for co-creation. The process involves, among other things, establishing a mutual understanding of planning work, how to think about art and artistic competence, and methods for how we apply this in practice.
Industry development: Strengthen the artist economy
For more performers and artists to be able to generate higher income, the local industry structures must be strengthened. Therefore, Stavanger Municipality will change its model for financing art in public spaces, start a development program for cultural producers and project managers and test new methods for smoother public procurement (such as Kvikktest).
Aesthetic sustainability: Introduction of the concept
It's known that good societies manage their natural, economic and social resources sustainably. The smart art initiative manifests that aesthetic resources should be included in the concept of sustainability.
It involves not only managing art but fostering artist communities and interdisciplinary networks across art, research and urban development. We link this work to both the national and international smart city networks, and the network Art, Design and Sustainability, which was initiated by the University of Stavanger in the autumn of 2019.
Smart art projects in which the Smart City department is involved:
- Kunstbase – A database of the municipality's own art collection
- Nuart and Google Arts & Culture – Exploring a platform for documentation, archiving and dissemination
- The Sound of Hillevåg – Motion sensors that activate sounds along the trail
- Kunsthall Stavanger, in collaboration with Rhizome and New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York: Seven on Seven - What happens when you pair seven artists & seven technologists and ask them to make something new?
- SXSW2020 – A pavilion based around art and culture