This week sees the launch of the first of an innovative series of online art study programmes based around the Tate Collection www.tate.org.uk/ita/ Aimed at anyone who has an interest in finding out more about modern and contemporary art, the course has been put together by Tate in collaboration with the City Literary Institute, utilising the talents of a range of leading curators and educators.
The Level 1 introductory course is free and can be structured entirely to the users own timetable. Available from 30 January 2004, it can be followed at any stage during 2004 or 2005 and from anywhere in the world with internet access. It leads students through a series of key themes and subjects and features a range of works by important artists from the early twentieth century through to those at the forefront of todays art including Francis Bacon, Cornelia Parker, Pablo Picasso, Stanley Spencer and Andy Warhol.
Course units or modules are written by experts in the field, and visually enhanced by gallery walkthroughs, film footage and a whole range of other interactive learning aids. The course offers a new and dynamic way to learn about modern and contemporary art through the medium of web-based technologies. Harnessing a full range of multimedia features including images, interactive games, walk throughs and sound, this visually-arresting project will be the most advanced interactive art learning scheme offered by a UK art institution. The units will be updated every six months.
To complete Level 1 users must finish four out of the eight key themes on offer. When this is completed users will be able to participate in the Level 2 course which will be available from October 2004 and costs £95 (£45 concessionary rate) and includes online tutoring and assessments.
The design partner on the project, Mantarey New Media, based the visual style on the idea of an online exhibition space. Their approach has been to create a clean uncluttered look in keeping with the open spaces of a contemporary art gallery. The project interface incorporates a system of stylishly simple and easy to recognise navigational buttons offering choice while simultaneously retaining the ease of use for the computer novice and users with visual impairment.
Tate Online aims to increase public awareness, understanding and appreciation of art. The internet is an important site for the production and distribution of educational resources and learning materials and Tate is committed to developing on its success in this area. Further information about existing Tate e-learning resources can be found at www.tate.org.uk/learning