Sue Austin

Multimedia, performance & installation artist

Project Outline and Objectives

Doughnut or ring shaped image with black circle at the centre. Filmstill from panoramic test video of buildings, car park and cars. Blue sky with whit fluffy clouds above

Film still from test shoot by Trish Wheatley

‘360 Degrees – A New Angle on Access’ will harness the latest immersive 360° technology to create and exhibit powerful, innovative digital artworks for venue and home-based experiences. The project, supported by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts is delivered in partnership with: lead researcher Martin Woolner; SERIO and ICCI Plymouth University; 360 imaging specialist Dan Burton; and Living Options Devon and includes new artworks by Sue Austin and Kevin Clifford.

What we want to learn through the project:

  • Understanding of physical, psychological and financial barriers to arts venues;
  • Evaluation of audience engagement with, and experience of, home and 
community based art experiences;
  • Potential for expansion of use of 360º technologies in the arts; understanding how it can overcome barriers and lend itself to different art forms and;
  • The use of action research methods in evaluating and understanding the impact 
of inclusive arts. 

We will develop an understanding of how the art has been experienced by all participants, but also seek to understand if there were different issues and experiences for people experiencing different barriers. We will use in-depth interviews to draw out insights into the detailed experiences of people, the research will help understand previous barriers to engagement in arts, their experience of art delivered through 360º technology and the impact this has on them. The research will also evaluate the potential use of 360º technology through surveys and workshops with wider groups of stakeholders including artists, art providers and disability groups. 
 Finally, the research will openly share learning relating to the research methods used and how best to employ them within arts research. We intend to employ a participatory approach drawing upon peer research principles where possible to enhance research expertise across the sector. We will train non-researchers to undertake research and support them through the process, reflecting upon their learning. 
 The findings will be used to engage other arts organisations in discussions regarding their own digital strategies and potential for more inclusive arts. We will promote inclusion as an overarching aim of digital strategies and will use this project to test, evidence and promote this approach. By developing a new medium of art delivery, we will spark interest in a new paradigm of inclusive arts.