People become fully human only 70 years after their death, when all their works move into the public domain. Very briefly, this means that they can be made universally available, freely used and reworked.
Every day, thousands of new digitised paintings, graphics, books, literary and musical works make it onto the Internet; leaving the storehouses of libraries, museums and archives, they take on digital form and receive new life. These include both landmark works by well-known artists, and forgotten or marginalised trivia.
All of these resources, gathered and available for all in digital libraries and museums, create huge potential for today’s artists: not only the possibility of unlimited use for any purpose, but also an inexhaustible source of inspiration. As we explore digital archives, we transition seamlessly from ancient sculptures, through mediaeval manuscripts, prints of Renaissance masters, the painting of Rembrandt and Caravaggio, to advertisements from old newspapers and Secessionist posters.
Aside from the fact that this is a huge collection of extraordinary visual material, far from the “stock” aesthetic, in digital collections one can find music and text – ready to be used by creators of storylines for games or films, or entire storytelling campaigns.
The lecture will include a presentation of the most important sources of digitised resources – digital libraries and museums – and examples of how to use their materials.