Tired of just looking at paintings?

Jane Finnis

In this Lightning talk we will present a brilliantly simple, social and fun online activity ‘for people who are tired of just looking at paintings’. The project will allow you to recreate a painting with your friends, then upload and share your photograph, to be twinned with the original. It will draw on a curated set of images of paintings sourced from Europeana (and beyond) to prompt tourists to physically recreate the image with friends and colleagues, then capture and share it via social media channels (e.g. Pinterest, Tumblr etc).

The idea taps into a key emotional desire for fun and sociability. It is aimed at a wide group of tourists who may want to engage with paintings and images, but don’t simply want to look and learn in very formal ways. The recreated image also acts as a tangible souvenir and memory of the trip. This idea could be used to engage tourists in paintings relating to a specific location they plan to visit, as well as supporting the creation of additional memories after the trip.

This new product is being developed as part of the Europeana Creative project and will be prototyped by Culture24 in the UK in May. It will be very easy to use, free and with a low barrier to entry. Its inherent sociability, playfulness and photographic output also supports the behaviour of a network of friends via ongoing conversations, recommendations and sharing.

During the talk we will explain the idea, show examples of how people are using it and outline the shift in thinking that has gone into its production.

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