Tate is delighted to announce that BT will continue to sponsor the Tate website, Tate Online, for a further three years. BT and BT Openworld first signed up as the exclusive partner of Tate Online in 2001. As well as hosting the website, BT's financial support has allowed Tate to appoint a dedicated Digital Programmes team who have developed many creative and groundbreaking online projects over the last two years.
www.tate.org.uk acts as the fifth Tate gallery and is the UK's most visited arts website, with distinct and unique content including exhibitions specifically curated for a virtual gallery. Since BT became sole sponsor of Tate Online, visitors have increased to some 2 million unique users a year, a figure equal to some of the major national galleries and museums around the world. Tate Online won the first ever London Tourism award for Best Website in May. It was also awarded a BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Award in October of this year, for accessible programming with the launch of i-map, a micro-site specially designed for visually impaired people to explore the work of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso (www.tate.org.uk/imap).
This important partnership with BT will enable to Tate to develop yet more innovative initiatives in the following areas:
The popular site Explore Tate Britain, developed by Tate and BT Openworld, will be followed next year by Explore Tate Modern, a virtual tour of the permanent Collection displays at Tate Modern. Articles about the Tate Collection which appear in TATE magazine can also be found in a dedicated section on Tate Online: www.tate.org.uk/magazine.
The second series of Net Art Commissions for Tate Online were undertaken by Susan Collins and Heath Bunting this year. These annual commissions help explore the artistic possibilities of a virtual gallery site and are accompanied by a series of critical texts, all of which can be found at www.tate.org.uk/netart.
Digitisting the Collection
All of the works in the vast Tate Collection have now been digitised. A very recent agreement with the Design And Copyright Society (DACS) means that many of the works protected by the agency which have not until now been available for use on the web can be viewed at www.tate.org.uk/collections. Work is now starting on incorporating new technology which allows viewers to rotate 3D images online.
A new learning section of the website has been developed to present Tate's online educational resources. Highlights include the contemporary Works In Focus series, with micro-sites devoted to Damien Hirst's Pharmacy, Cornelia Parker's Cold Dark Matter, and Sonia Boyce's From Tarzan to Rambo.
The webcasting programme, launched in February 2000, is thriving and the archive is attracting 8,000 visitors a month. The archive is available at www.tate.org.uk/audiovideo
A number of content partnerships have already been developed including bbc.co.uk/arts/, historyworld.net, and groveart.com
Notes to Editor
Research carried out in June 2002 shows the following:
30% of respondents access the website at least once a month/li>45% of respondents were first-time visitors to tate.org.uk66% of respondents were in the UK15% of respondents have never visited a Tate gallery85% rated the quality of online content as excellent48% visited the site for information on events39% visited to view or find out about works of art
The average spent at Tate Online per visit is over 7 minutes, over a minute higher than the average for all websites.