“Open Worlds” is a research project being realised by the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hanover, IMAGINE THE CITY in Hamburg, and the Museum Marta Herford. Together with artists, curators and users, the four institutions for contemporary art will be creating digital tours and artistic stagings in urban space. The platform interkit is being developed in cooperation with the Berlin-based developer team Jennifer Aksu, Holger Heißmeyer and Sebastian Quack as digital partners, and UX designers Sansho Studio.
“Open Worlds” follows a vision: to make interkit into an open, universal tool for the design of interactive, web- and smartphone-based cultural experiences in which spaces, media and people will be able to enter into continually new, reciprocal relations. The tradition of closely linking thought and ideas to movement and physical experience, which goes back to antiquity, serves as a model. This facilitates new perspectives and unexpected experiences, opening up connections between the seemingly unconnected.
In a first step, in so-called case studies, the institutions in the four cities are developing the various functionalities which the interkit platform will be able to offer in future: media player, map navigation, chat function or augmented reality. These components represent the app’s basic range of functions. Each case study is built upon a curatorial-artistic and communicative project.
interkit means that traditional communicative formats can be implemented as well as individual or group-based, playful stagings in urban space that relate artworks and everyday objects, private experiences and socio-political issues. The question of how art relates to the individual reality of life is dealt with on site. The content of the respective course is compiled by the participating project partners and artists and then combines with the users’ own content, which can be produced on site with their smartphones and integrated into the app.
Another focus is on the development of an intuitively operable editing system that enables people without programming experience to build their own apps.
The open-source approach is particularly important; by this means, the possibilities created in the project will be made available gradually to the public and especially to the developer community. “Open Worlds” is based on open processes, user orientation and co-creation.
The motivation behind the collaboration between two art museums in Siegen and Herford, a large art association in Hanover, an art project in the public space of Hamburg and a team of developers is the emergent opportunity to bring together these (institutionally) very different standpoints and geographical spaces. In each case, the different profiles and needs harbour specific know-how, which leads to an immense range of application perspectives.
Continuing changes in the media and their effects on art have been firmly anchored in the programme of the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen since its foundation in 2001. The intention to adapt to media developments and to integrate digital innovations is an essential part of the museum’s conception.
Since its foundation in May 2005, the Museum Marta Herford has actively positioned itself in the digital realm: a dovetailing of the analogue and the digital as well as institutional and public space is the focus of attention here.
When the Kestner Gesellschaft was founded in 1916, it was created to present relevant contemporary and modern positions. Today, it is still about making use of the opportunities inherent in a temporary exhibition house against the backdrop of digital change and globalisation.
As an institution that intervenes in urban space starting from Hamburg’s HafenCity, IMAGINE THE CITYhas always been interested in interweaving digital and real space.
The Digital Partners
The Berlin developer trio from interkit completes the team of the cross-institutional research project “Open Worlds” as a digital partner. For ten years now, this interdisciplinary team has been working together on playful digital ideas for the art scene and so complements the alliance with a further perspective.