Making Spaces for Culture: Art

Spaces’ members are people who thrive in flexible, dynamic environments that buzz with new ideas. They seek out coworking spaces that ignite their creativity, introduce them to like-minded people, and help them strike up organic conversations they can’t have when working alone at home. Spaces has seen first-hand how bringing inspiring artwork into its locations transforms the ambience of each workspace, creating a catalyst for all of the above.

Spaces continues to find new ways to bring artwork into its locations. This year, as part of its Space(s) for Culture initiative, it created a platform for local artists in Liège, Belgium, who had been hit hard by the socioeconomic impact of Covid-19. And now, Spaces Westerpark – an exciting flexible workspace location in Amsterdam’s creative quarter – offers a stimulating cultural experience fit for its locale, an epicentre of fresh thinking (Westerpark regularly hosts fashion shows, art festivals and start-up incubators in its backyard).

The Dutch venue has also partnered with Niio, a streaming platform that curates and shares some of the best digital art in the world, to expose members to innovative artwork and broaden their horizons with this fascinating, ever-evolving artform.

The world of digital art is an experimental one. It can take the form of videos, computer code, graphics, algorithms, data, gifs, or any tool or computer programme an artist chooses to work with. Niio collects and shares the work of more than 6,000 international artists, galleries, museums and creators at the forefront of digital art. And now some of these pieces will be on display on screens positioned around Spaces Westerpark – transforming the location into a digital art gallery, with exhibits to be admired, discussed and absorbed while members work.

“Forget the same static work hanging on the wall in the same office, year after year – nobody wants to stare at the same four walls, day after day,” says Rob Anders, co-founder and CEO of Niio. “Throughout history, art has always moved us. Now, imagine being inspired by dynamic, moving and ever-evolving art, which reflects your mood and offers a different perspective every day.

“Niio shares a similar ethos to Spaces. We truly believe in the idea that work should be reimagined. Our workplace is not just where we work, it’s where we ideate, socialise and spark conversations that lead to innovation and growth. A professional environment must support today’s work-life dynamics, and we passionately see how art has an important role to play here. Niio’s digital art streams transform spaces into environments that inspire the mind. I’m thrilled about what we are doing at Spaces Westerpark, which is an exciting realisation of that joint vision.”

As life in the digital age increasingly plays out on our screens, it’s logical that the world of art moves in step, and that we seek meaningful artistic experiences we can access via devices. While digital art has actually been around for decades, it’s fair to say it’s having a moment in the 2020s. This is in part due to the popularity of NFTs, or ‘non-fungible tokens’, which empower digital creators to sell their work via blockchain technology. Over the coming years, people are likely to become more familiar with their preferences for styles, genres and mediums of digital art, and interesting developments are constantly happening – such as the sale of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first ever tweet earlier this year, which was purchased for a staggering $2.9m.

So, what can members expect to see on display? “We’ve worked together with the Spaces design team to pick the artworks that feel as if they are opening you up to a new world,” says Anders. “Based on abstract flowing artworks and nature themes, the vibrant, uplifting pieces of art we’ve curated work in line with the beautiful, inspiring surroundings of the workspace to enhance wellbeing and creativity. Picasso once said: ‘The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls’ – and we’ve truly achieved this with our digital art displayed in Spaces Westerpark.”

The success of the Space(s) for Culture initiative this year has paved the way for Spaces’ future plans for innovating its workspaces while supporting creative communities. In Liège earlier this year, Spaces Guillemins showcased ten artworks from local creators – including Soke, Emma Herman, Margaux Meyer, Avenir, and Jo Delannoy. The artists were also invited to share their experiences during the pandemic with Spaces members. This highlights a vital role coworking locations can play in providing a platform for creators.

At the time, Anaïs Kelders, community sales manager at Spaces Guillemins, said: “With Space(s) for Culture, we want to show the local community how valuable they are for us and support them in these difficult times. Culture and art are essential in our lives. They spark conversations and help us reflect. We hope the artwork will inspire our members just as much as it inspired us.”

Want to work somewhere that taps into your creative streak? Find a Spaces location near you.

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