SXSW in Austin, Texas – taking place 13–22 March 2020 – hosts an annual UK government presence where we showcase British companies and creativity under the festival's Interactive banner. With trade stands in the Austin Convention Center and activity at the British Music Embassy (BME) venue – including immersive tech, AI and visual art as well as a handpicked selection of new UK bands – the Government showcases some of the best of British at SXSW.
This year, alongside established programmes at the BME and the Arts Council England / British Underground 'Future Art and Culture' lineup, the Culture Diary is partnering with the Department for International Trade and Here East for the opening reception of the BME on Friday 13 March at Cedar Street Courtyard.
The Culture Diary is bringing AI visual artist Anna Ridler's work Mosaic Virus to the Lido Room, a metamorphosing piece on three screens. Artistic rendition of tulips bloom and develop in front of the viewer, hypnotic in their transformation. An artificial intelligence algorithm manipulates the tulips based on the global fluctuations in the price of bitcoin. As the flowers recall the global 17th century 'tulip-mania' – itself a phenomenon of supply, demand and speculation – they give rise to discussions on the nature of economic uncertainty, globalisation, and the all-encompassing potential of AI as a force for prosperity or otherwise.
The Culture Diary will also provide a daily blog on the weekend of 13–15 March detailing the best of the UK programme at SXSW, with recommendations and highlights. Keep an eye on the Culture Diary and our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn).