With the launch today of the BT Tate Player a wide range of film and audio is brought together online for the first time. The material ranges from rarely-seen archive film, including footage of Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson and a unique film by Felipe Ehrenberg, to recent discussions with artists including Howard Hodgkin, Gilbert & George and Rachel Whiteread. Over seventy events have been captured for posterity, including over thirty talks with artists, interviews and discussions. The launch of the BT Tate Player has been supported technically, financially and creatively by long-term partner BT.
The Player will enable people worldwide to access unique archive footage from the 1960s to the present day. Visitors to www.tate.org.uk will now be able to uncover exceptional footage giving remarkable insights into major artists and cultural figures. People can watch an intimate black and white home movie of Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and their triplets and a lecture by Christo at Tate Gallery introduced by Nicholas Serota. A wide range of audio material will also be available to users of Tate Online. This includes David Sylvester in conversation with Robert Rauschenberg and Maggi Hambling in discussion with George Melly.
The Player is the latest initiative from the newly formed Tate Media division which was set up in 2006 to reflect media developments over the last five years and allow Tate more flexibility to operate across multiple media platforms and reach wider audiences. It also anticipates the launch of Tate Channel this autumn, a dedicated online channel for the broadcast of a wide range of material commissioned by Tate Media around Tate’s programme.
Over 18 million people now visit Tate Online each year. The BT Tate Player has been developed together with BT as part of Tate’s ongoing commitment to making the Tate collections more accessible beyond the gallery walls. It is the latest initiative to help digitise the Tate Archive to give wider access to the remarkable body of material it contains. In 2003 Tate launched a fascinating showcase of Archive material on Tate Online including rare artefacts, letters and photographs on Tate’s History, the Bloomsbury Group and the art critic Barbara Reise.