KIEM project granted within the NWO Creative Industry research programme

DIAL for Complex Artworks: Digital Index of an Artwork’s Life

1 juni 2017

Caring sustainably for complex contemporary artworks requires an entirely different approach than is typical of traditional art. Using DIAL – a Digital Index of an Artwork’s Life, the project aims to develop a digital tool for collection management systems to make professionals more aware of their own input when it comes to exhibiting complex artworks.

The dynamic character and fluid form of many contemporary artworks challenges museums to think beyond their usual frameworks in order to fulfil their responsibility as a collection management institution. Yet, the museums' digital infrastructure that should support this is not adequately equipped for these kinds of artworks. Intangible features of variable or interactive artworks cannot be translated into current collection database systems.

Generating insight into complex artworks

This project addresses this omission by researching ways to make the consequences of choices in managing complex artworks more insightful. This is fundamental namely because the dynamic process of reinstallation, re-implementation and audience participation affects both the final appearance of a work and its content. While this is gradually being acknowledged, it has yet to be translated into the museum infrastructure, which is instead based solely on static objects and fixed data. This project aims to stimulate the investigative mind of the professional by integrating a reflexive approach into the collection management system, revealing the guiding factor in an artwork’s life.

Developing a digital tool

The project, a collaboration between the UvA, the Kröller-Müller Museum and Wiel's Simple Solutions, will develop a digital tool that can visualise the artwork's life. This 'DIAL for Complex Artworks' aims to make professionals in the creative industry more aware of the impact of their own actions on the artworks they manage. In this way this research contributes to critical thinking and sustainable insight into the management of complex contemporary artworks.

Project duration

1 June 2017 – 31 May 2018

Principal investigator

Dr. Sanneke Stigter, UvA

Public Partner

Susanne Kenshe, Kröller-Müller Museum

Private Partner

Wiel Seuskens, Wiel’s Simple Solutions

For more information

Contact Sanneke Stigter at:


Gepubliceerd door  Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen