We Built A Time Machine

How do you get the world talking online about the new Tate Modern?

That’s the question Tate asked us recently, ahead of opening their new extension to Tate Modern in London’s Bankside—an event that marks the biggest moment in their history since the gallery first opened in 2000.

As an organisation filled with art lovers, we were excited to create a digital experience that celebrates their new space, enabling Tate to showcase more art than ever before, and facilitate educational programmes to engage people from all walks of life.

Tate had crafted a powerful message for their promotional campaign to celebrate how they are responding to the ever-evolving landscape of art: “Art changes. So do we.” This core message, as well as Tate’s strong belief that art should be more accessible to everyone, was the inspiration for our big idea.

(Of course, a whole lot of research and collaboration went into the big idea, too: workshops with Tate’s Membership team, which is led by Rob Halkyard, interviews with Tate visitors and Members, and conversations with Tate’s curatorial team.)

It’s called Tate Time Machine and it launched today.

Tate Time Machine is an immersive digital experience that allows you to travel back in time to discover how art has been shaped by history. For example, if you stumble into 1937, you’ll meet Pablo Picasso in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. He has just seen the world around him torn apart by the bombing of Guernica, and in response he creates “Weeping Woman,” an oil painting that depicts a distraught mother holding her child. In your next trip you might be transported to Cornwall in the 1940s to meet Barbara Hepworth, or to Japan in the 1950s to discover Shozo Shimamoto.

Each stop on the journey reflects the true stories behind some of the greatest artworks of the past century, and every trip is unique with more than 40 years of art to discover. In fact, each year contains an artwork that will be on display in the new Tate Modern, bridging the online and offline experiences.

But Tate Time Machine doesn’t just take you back in time, it also takes you forwards to 2017 where you’re able to make a prediction that Tate will send you in a year’s time. This simple mechanic acts as both a fun way to transform passengers into active travellers in charge of their own destiny, and a great opportunity for Tate to start a long-term digital relationship with new fans and supporters.

To take a trip in Tate Time Machine, click here.