“Technology is creative. This may be a veiled Google ad, but it’s a platform that promotes Internet and programmatic creativity.” —juror Winston Binch
“DevArt is great because it shows the correlation between art and code in real time, while also sharing the code.” —juror Jon Jackson
Overview: As web technologies evolve, more and more developers are thinking creatively with code and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. By reframing coding as a creative discipline, Google Creative Lab in London set out to inspire developers to fulfill their creative potential. DevArt gives developers a unique opportunity to showcase their work on a global stage, alongside the world’s most progressive digital artists.
• Within the first 24 hours of launch, DevArt became GitHub’s fourth most popular repository—out of six million.
• To date, more than a million people have visited the site.
• The associated exhibit at London’s Barbican Centre is the most popular exhibit ever staged by the art center, with 85,000 visitors in its first three months.
Comments by Google Creative Lab London:
What are the project’s core features? “Developers are inherently open. They share their code, understanding that the free exchange of ideas benefits the entire community. We applied this insight to DevArt. Instead of asking participants to submit their project at the end of their creative process, we asked them to share their work while it was still in development—a first-of-its-kind ‘open’ competition. The online platform launched in February 2014, prepopulated with an inspiring collection of some of the world’s best digital art. We also launch a targeted campaign—including a YouTube film, three short documentaries about the DevArt artists, a range of banners and a series of global hackathons—calling all developers to take part for the chance to be awarded a prestigious commission at the Barbican. In September, we launched the physical gallery at the Barbican’s Digital Revolution exhibit, featuring the winning entry and new works by the DevArt interactive artists.”
Describe any special interactive features. “We tailored the experience to the natural behavior of our developer audience and designed it to mesh with their existing workflow. We integrated GitHub, an open source platform for code development—essentially the developers’ creative canvas—into the front end of the website. Any developments in GitHub would automatically update in the DevArt gallery for all to see. This deep integration to power a real-time publishing platform with GitHub had never been done before.”What was the thinking behind the navigation structure?
“We wanted users to be able to identify, at a glance, the combination of different languages, toolkits, platforms and APIs that were used to make each of the DevArt projects in the gallery. We created a modular graphic icon system that represented the palette of code used for each project. This allowed users to navigate through the works by filtering the technology that they found interesting. Users could also combine the filtering mechanisms in different ways, such as showing all the projects that make use of the Google Maps API and were built using the Open Frameworks toolkit.”