CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS

a digital space for a physical collection

Consigned to a dusty back room at Central St Martins college, a unique collection of moving image art unused and unloved.

 

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a important collection of moving image art

Dedicated to the work of moving image artists, British artists film and video study collection is part of the Central Saint Martins Museum and contains a wealth of important historic British moving image art.

Stephen Ball, the Curator asked us to bring it back to life and give it context, meaning and usefulness in the modern world.

How might we create a digital space to explore, discuss and ultimately experience the collection making it relevant for students, researchers, the University and the art world?

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Archive as living organism

We recognised early on that for a collection to thrive it requires nurturing. It cannot remain relevant if its sole purpose is just to be consumed by students.

The collecting of new material needs to be encouraged and the gardening of material already in the collection needs to be fostered. 

Through a series of discovery workshops, interviews and research, we considered the broader ecosystem into which the collection would grow, adapt and fit and set ourselves some questions to answer.

 

New connections and contexts

How is new material going to be acquired? How do we pull things out from the collection and present them in different contexts? How do we connect materials from the collection with studies that are going on? How do we connect the materials with different cultural and political contexts? What else outside of the collection brings relevance to the collection?

 

A living, breathing collection

We brought the collection to visibility by encouraging users to explore it the way they want. This could be through tagged content or via the conversations people are having about the materials. The system empowers users to create events, groups and discussion centred around the collection as well as contribute their own content.

 

 
 

exposing the collection to the world

From an uncatalogued mass of static information we exposed the collection, re-imagined and re-contextualised it making it relevant for students, researchers, the University and the art world. 

 
A SHARED SPACE WE CAN ALL USE & DEVELOP & CONTRIBUTE TO...AN IMPORTANT WAY OF DEVELOPING RESEARCH PRACTICE
— Steven Ball - Curator
 

IN A NUTSHELL

WHAT WE DID:

Guerrilla research with researchers and students

Experience design for digital collection

Brand messaging for the website

Promotional film with the Curator

 
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