It Is Art: Tatecraft Wants To Bring The Tate Into Minecraft

This is my most artistic screenshot of Minecraft. I call it: Big Orange Wall.
The Tate gallery in London is a vast space where art lives and breathes. It’s big enough to hold the sun, as well as thousands of works of modern and classic art. It is one of the best things about London, and it’s worth a visit. If you can’t make it, there’s a chance you could wander the halls virtually: the Tate is currently running a competition “to realise a digitally innovative project that will enhance people’s enjoyment of art,” and one of the shortlisted entrants hopes to build the gallery and its artwork within Minecraft.

It’s the artworks part that intrigues me. Artist Adam Clarke hopes to recreate the experience of visiting the Tate building, but also wants to bring the art to life: you’d be wandering the gallery, approach a significant piece of art, and the world would fall away to allow the player to enter the painting and walk around it.

I don’t think he’d manage to make everything in the gallery–though he excitedly proclaims in the video: “500 years of British art that you can walk in and experience.”–but wanting to whoosh into significant artworks is pretty much my default setting when I visit galleries. The voting for the prize fund ends tomorrow (Friday the 24th). It’ll be blocky, but I’d love for this to happen.

Thank ya, Polygon.


  1. c-Row says:

    But how is that “digitally innovative”? Virtual tours and museums aren’t exactly the freshest of ideas.

    • Syphus says:

      I believe the innovative part is not the virtual tour, but the ability to “walk into” the paintings themselves. And that is where the idea becomes far more interesting.

  2. Kiytan says:

    don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice idea, I’m just not really sure why you need £60k to do it

    • c-Row says:

      Because art.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Just how many artists are needed to change a lightbulb?

      • Geebs says:

        One to change the bulb and four to write the explanatory text about what it means

        • pmcp says:

          Actually, going by the listings on arts jobs it’s none but: 2 curators to go Venice to consider bulbs and drink champagne, 5 marketing people to tweet about it and 1 education officer to paint a mural tangentially related to it and 3 unpaid interns to design the fliers, open and close the gallery, make the website, make coffee, film the opening, update the mailing list, write press releases, then source, design, construct and install the bulb.

  3. jumblesale says:

    But is it art?

  4. gorice says:

    Now if he can find a way to use Minecraft to launder money, games really will have become art.

    • Railway Rifle says:

      Now I want to see a heist movie that involves moving the proceeds via Minecraft.

  5. lukibus says:

    “The Tate gallery in London” is proof that living in the virtual world gives no knowledge of the real world. There are 2 * “Tate” art galleries in London – “Tate Britain” and “Tate Modern” – both with f*ckin’ excellent stuff.

    Recommend starting the day early when one of them opens their doors and wander along the Thames to the other. You’ll see Big Ben, The Nation Theater, bits of White Hall, The Shell Building, and all sorts of other London landmarks. And book-ended by good art.

  6. Chaz says:

    What’s the bet some kid from St Martins wins it?

  7. jrodman says:

    The mention of the Tate has jogged an old memory which I will share, relevance be damned.

    When I was 11, before the internet, before personal computers, I was working on a 3-month project for school as an 11-year old. I had to select an artist and create a huge report on them, including a written component about them and a collection of prints of their work. I managed to find a pretty authoritative list of which art museums had works by Monet, who I had selected, and mailed around 7$ US (1982 money) to most of them, asking for a few small prints of the works they have.

    Some museum store workers were probably bowled over by my letter in crazy but deliberately clear kid handwriting and sent me quite a bit more than 7$ worth of prints. I didn’t really expect that but was grateful and sent thank-yous. Most just sent 1-3 prints. I was grateful for that too. The Met in New York was helpful. The Louvre efficiently replied with 1 print; par avion. The Musée Marmottan went quite a bit overboard sending several that probably in retrospect was expensive for air mail. And so on. In all, probably 30 diffferent museums all graciously honored my request and helped me out. In the end, I got too much and it was a work of kid-weeks to mount and annotate all the prints in the required manner in the report.

    The only exception was the Tate. They mailed back 8 pages of order forms. Thanks guys.

    • Person of Interest says:

      Thanks for sharing. That gave me a good chuckle.

    • Syphus says:

      The moral I learned from this story is: Write in kid handwriting, send some money, get free art.

  8. allthingslive says:

    Sounds like one hot potate-oh!

  9. Wurstwaffel says:

    Minecraft seems like an extraordinarily shitty medium for a project like this.

  10. madeofsquares says:

    I’m not convinced Minecraft is the best way to achieve this.