The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
Muriel Rukeyser, an American poet and political activist, said it right. Our lives are build up from this strange material, that seems to hold everything together. It is through stories that we learn, we empathize, we grow as human beings. And it is how we remember.
Art has for centuries played a crucial role in people’s lives as the visual appearance of stories. They inspired us, reminded us of the universality of human struggles and opened our eyes to the miracles of being alive, which is why art is of such incalculable value.
Museums, as the guardians of this heritage, have always looked for different ways of engaging with audiences to bring them the most optimal experience of encountering artworks. Now millions of artworks have been digitized and it’s time to disclose this treasure to the audience it deserves.
Look up close and hear the stories
Storypix is a digital platform that takes art collections to the audience at large. It is a technology designed for showing artworks on billboards or large outdoor screens that are now becoming more and more available in beautiful, high quality resolution. It allows for art institutions to present their collection in a meaningful way in public space.
A large screen that shows the artwork can be controlled by anyone with a smartphone and a connection. By entering the URL in their browser, a location prompt will connect them to the artwork in front of them which show up on their phone, together with an audio player. They’re straight inside the app, no downloads required.
Now they can magically zoom in on incredible detail to see the artwork in a way that would be impossible before. The paint stroke and details of the canvas at their fingertips. And they can listen to the story of it, making it a deeply engaging experience.
Under the hood: the technology
The app is entirely web based, written in HTML5 and works with a combination of high end technologies to deliver a fast and seamless experience. One of them is a tiling service that can deal with ultra high res images very easily. This means that artworks that were scanned on gigapixel resolution can now be used in the street.
A web service is available for institutions to build their selection and upload their artworks, together with the stories. Every project can be customized to include other services such as ticket sales or print orders. And a collection page will hold all the stories for people to share amongst friends.
We are now in our final testing rounds and will be ready to launch soon.
Let’s set the arts free. They have stories to tell.
STORYPIX was one of the winner projects of the E-Space Hack Your Photo Heritage in Leuven (February 2016) and was further developed during the E-Space Business Modelling Workshop series.