Play Out


2007 - 2009

Under the title Play Out, over the coming two years the Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam will be making its own documentation collection and a part of the collections it administers available digitally. Together with research into uncompromised storage on hard discs, this will be made possible by the award of a grant from SenterNovem as part of the Digitizing with Policy (DmB) program.

After the necessary first wave of digitization in which the emphasis lay on digitizing and conserving media art works, it is now high time for the second wave of digitization, in which the accent will be on the consolidation of generated content and making it widely accessible. The most important motive for this is the potential created by digitization and the internet, which involves presentation, distribution and collection alike, and offers the possibility of reaching a world-wide audience.

Beginning in 2005, in the Content in Context project the Netherlands Media Art Institute placed its own collection of autonomous video art on a streaming server and developed a new database. This made the distribution collection available digitally in-house, where it can be viewed full screen. At the same time, the distribution collection went on line on the website In addition to reading a description of the works, the visitor can view video fragments, and search titles, artists, date of creation and subjects via the internet.

The Netherlands Media Art Institute administers the largest video art collection in Europe, comprised of 1900 works by Dutch and international artists. According to research report by the Dutch Social and Cultural Planning Agency presented on December 13, 2006, the Netherlands Media Art Institute is one of the creative pioneers in the European Union in the development of innovative applications in making collections available digitally.

Through the subsidy as a part of the Digitizing with Policy program, the Netherlands Media Art Institute can take the next important steps in the process. The history of the Institute itself, including for instance its own productions and video recordings of interviews and exhibitions, will be conserved and made available digitally. But even more important is offering digital access to a number of important media art collections that are managed by the Institute, making these available to interested parties for research in our mediatheque, to the institutions involved, and openly accessible to the public via internet. We will begin with the collections of the ICN, de Appel, the Kröller-Müller Museum and the Groningen Museum. In addition the Netherlands Institute will carry out a technical pilot project for the following step in permanent and massive storage after Digital Betacam.

The accessibility of the collection of media art in The Netherlands will be substantially improved as a result of this project.