Web Residency at Austrian National Library

Collage for the Web Residency Call 2021

From the 12th of April until the 9th of May the Austrian National Library’s Labs launched a Web Residency for creative engagement with their digital datasets. The awarded artwork will be presented in the frame of a virtual Artspace.

How does data become information that we can read? What role do aesthetics play in the politics of viewership? How can papyrus scrolls, musical scores, historical postcards and other treasures buried in the ONB Labs archives be explored artistically and in a way that is meaningful to our contemporary moment of unrest

Virtual engagement

By raising these provocative questions the Austrian National Library’s Labs (ONB Labs) invited artists to critically engage with and creatively re-use the ONB Labs digital datasets. We offered datasets and curated collections such as digitized historical postcards, papyri, historical newspapers, pamphlets of the 1848 revolution, music manuscripts, documents in Esperanto, including metadata information. One of the main aims of the Open Digital Library project is to foster creative engagement with our digital library holdings in new ways and new formats. Initially we intended to run a residency for artists locally at the Austrian National Library. Due to the current restrictions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, we decided on a virtual format instead of physical exchange. We adopted the format of Web Residency by announcing an award and reached out internationally for artists to hand in project outlines. The range of questions, methods and selection of data was unrestricted. The number of applications and their variety proved the spectrum of possible approaches to our digital datasets. In cooperation with the artist and educator Seth Weiner Seth Weiner we chose the contribution of Rosemary Lee for the award by cross-validation. We are honoured to present her outstanding work «Cryptographics» next week in the frame of a virtual Artspace. The virtual Artspace is an online platform for the presentation of the work created in the course of the Web Residency, which will then be developed further to become a permanent part of the ONB Labs.

To learn more about the awarded work and to discover our new artspace check out our upcoming post!