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“Set art free!” event – Exploring and remixing open collections

June 26, 2015
Photo by Ida Tietgen Høyrup / CC BY-SA 4.0

During the last weekend of May 2015, the Europeana Creative project organized in collaboration with the National Gallery of Denmark an SMK Fridays event called “Set art fee!” in Copenhagen. The event aimed to inspire and showcase creative use of open cultural collections via different activities ranging from workshops to installations. The event was a lots of fun and also a success in terms of visitors, as over 6000 people came to enjoy setting art free.

One of the main activities in the event was the Mix it up! exhibition, which consisted of remixes of the Gallery’s art collection. Altogether 13 artists and designers had been invited – or challenged – to create artworks based on the Gallery’s public domain image collection, which consisted of pictures of paintings and other artworks. As the participants came from different backgrounds, the artworks varied also greatly and included projections, photographs, textiles, ceramics and other tangible artworks. All the remixes were shown next to the original art pieces which had inspired them, giving the spectators the chance to reflect on the connections between the two. Guided tours were also organized through the exhibition where the artists and the designers could shed further light on their works. Here you can have a closer look at two installations made for the exhibition: Free? and As Light Goes By.

Photo by Jonas Smith / CC BY-NC

Photo by Jonas Smith / CC BY-NC

Another activity which made use of the Gallery’s public domain images hands on, was the animated GIF workshop, but for those who were not into staring at laptops, interactive installations were also available. People could for example explore the Culture Cam, which is a visual similarity search tool designed by the Europeana Creative partner Spild af Tid. For the purposes of the event, the Culture Cam was presented as a large installation, which filled one of the Gallery’s high walls. People could influence the images projected on the wall with the color of their clothes by standing at a specific spot where a camera was set up. The installation was a hit and exemplified well how cultural heritage content from Europeana can be explored in playful ways in physical spaces.

Photo by Jonas Smith / CC BY-NC

Photo by Jonas Smith / CC BY-NC

Van Go Yourself, which was also developed as a part of Europeana Creative, was present at “Set art free!” too. People could re-enact paintings from the National Gallery’s collection using various props, which were provided on the spot, including hats and a green parrot. Below is a snapshot of a scene being recreated.

Photo by Ida Tietgen Høyrup / CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo by Ida Tietgen Høyrup / CC BY-SA 4.0

This post covers only some of the activities which were taking place at “Set art free!” – for more information we recommend to check out this blog post by Merete Sanderfhoff.

Many thanks to Merete, Anne, Jack, Ida and other nice people from SMK for the great collaboration!

The featured image on the top of this post is by Ida Tietgen Høyrup / CC BY-SA 4.0

Kati Hyyppä
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