Innovation & Enterprise


UCL and Serpentine announce partnership, opening the door to innovative new creative practices

17 June 2021

The new partnership will allow UCL and Serpentine to pool resources and harness new technologies, to help shape the future of the creative industry.

The Deep Listener by Jakob Kudsk Steensen

The partnership brings together Serpentine’s acclaimed Arts Technologies programme and UCL’s world-class research and innovation across art, law, science and technology.

Researchers, artists, technical officers and curators from the two institutions will now be working closely together on a series of cross-disciplinary projects. 

They’ll be looking specifically at new ideas and technologies to:

  • address the legal challenges that can arise in creative practices such as IP issues involved in artmaking, games and virtual reality
  • explore the metaverse (persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces) as a site for art and architectural practices
  • explore the future of art education, including a collaboration with the UCL Slade School of Fine Art on a new Art & Tech degree at UCL East, UCL’s new campus in east London, as well as a public symposium

In an increasingly tech-driven society, this partnership is designed to drive investment into leadership and thinking around the future of the creative industry. The rapidly emerging spaces of arts and technology require new systems and practices. Artistic engagements with advanced technologies are changing not only how artists work, but how they navigate new intellectual property models arising from technologies such as blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Using partnerships to empower artists and enrich lives

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement), said: “The creative sector is of critical importance to the UK economy and, as the pandemic has reminded us, absolutely vital to our society and the richness of the overall human experience. Clearly it's a time of change and adaptation for the sector, but also one of exciting opportunities with the emergence of new immersive technologies and digital marketplaces. By forging new partnerships, such as this one, we can empower artists and creative practice and reach new audiences – ultimately enriching the lives of thousands of people in London and beyond.”

Bettina Korek, CEO, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine said: “In order to empower artists to drive change on the issues and systems shaping our society, Serpentine increasingly focuses our attention on ecology, technology and community. It's through strong collaborative partnerships like this one with UCL that our Arts Technologies programme continues to innovate, grow and spearhead new models for sharing resources and research that benefit the wider cultural sector as a whole.”

The partnership between UCL and Serpentine has been facilitated by the Business and Innovation Partnerships team within UCL Innovation & Enterprise. To find out more about this partnership, contact our Creative partnerships team.

Read the full story on the UCL News website.


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Image is an AR screenshot of The Deep Listener by Jakob Kudsk Steensen, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.