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reflection : a step forward
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A Step Forward
A Step Forward and a Look Behind
by Rae Hull, Creative Director of CODE, the Cultural Olympiad's digital edition

CODE Live is the final project to be launched as part of CODE, the Cultural Olympiad's digital edition—and it's the culmination of an experiment that has sought to extend the perimeter and parameters of the Cultural Olympiad through the use of digital technology, the first time ever for an Olympic and Paralympic Games. Making this first step imagines a future where even larger strides will be made to push out on digital fronts.

The intent of the CODE project is to transcend time and geography and extend the invitation of the Cultural Olympiad by doing so—enlarging the space in which artists and the public at large can connect, create and collaborate via digital means. Through CODE, people in Canada have collaborated to create an online grassroots portrait of the country that reaches out as an invitation to the world to explore who we are (Canada CODE); curators have shaped online exhibitions of visual and media art works for global viewing (CODE Screen 2010); and filmmakers have created short works about the human body in motion for distribution online, on mobile platforms and on outdoor screens (CODE Motion Pictures).

Now CODE Live comes full circle to bridge real-time with the online, literally bringing that vision to life in a number of locations throughout Vancouver. It invites the world attending the Games to connect and collaborate through the works of Canadian and international artists who use digital technology to create bridges that reach out to a participating public—encouraging them to journey across and engage with the art and the ideas it explores.

Creating an exhibition that appeals to a wide audience is intentional so the larger public as well as those immersed in digital culture experience the wondrous leap of imagination that occurs in witnessing how technology transforms the possibilities for artists and onlookers alike.

CODE has bridged time zones, geography, cultures—and with this special edition of HorizonZero it now connects back in time to the earlier online discovery of digital arts and culture that this publication originally pursued in its compelling series of works.

HorizonZero 19: Bridge illuminates CODE Live's curatorial theme for the online world, completing the circle one more time. In doing so we are fortunate that it also connects the fresh territory travelled by CODE with the seminal work of HorizonZero and the Banff New Media Institute—bridging two Canadian explorations in the field of digital arts and culture.

Rae Hull developed the digital programming strategy for the Cultural Olympiad, creating a concept and series of programs that extends the cultural program of the Olympics for the first time ever into the digital sphere. She was an early pioneer and champion of user-generated creativity, leading the development and production of the ground-breaking web-TV project Zed for CBC Television.

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