Press : nextmuseum

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Press release
July 1, 2020

Build the Museum of the Future Together
New digital platform

What should the museum of the future look like? Supported by the Federal Cultural Foundation’s Digital Fund, the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf and the Museum Ulm are launching a movement for more democracy in the art world: is a digital platform where curators, artists, institutions, visitors and all those interested can now play an active role in conceiving exhibitions and developing experimental approaches. Furthermore, free webinars and talks with curators and experts such as Hans Ulrich Obrist and Alexa Jeanne Kusber offer additional opportunities for open discourse. The new platform launches today with a call for people to participate in the 2021 exhibition Willkommen im Paradies (Welcome to Paradise) at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf and the Museum Ulm. The platform is now accessible at From July 1 to August 5, 2020, artists can submit works for this exhibition and anyone interested can get involved.

Museums and cultural institutions are finding themselves in a state of change. The growing influence of digitalisation means that they have to meet changing demands, but they can also take advantage of new opportunities. The cross-institutional platform offers the opportunity to rethink the museum together with the public and to actively shape cultural spaces. The aim is to trial curating exhibitions through swarm intelligence, use digital means to create new ways of participation and empowerment, and collectively develop innovative presentation, education, and communication formats. is an experimental research project organised in cooperation with the Museum Ulm and one of the fifteen projects funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation’s Digital Fund as part of their Kultur Digital programme. Through the fund, the Federal Cultural Foundation is able to help publicly subsidised cultural institutions in the fields of digital curating, artistic production, mediation, and communication to develop digital concepts. The launch of is the first step of the four-year project, which will continue to be developed on an ongoing basis. Together with technical partners such as the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences and the wider community, additional experimental approaches will be developed, resulting in artificial intelligence being used to co-curate exhibitions, communication between different exhibitions, and live curation by visitors.

The platform is an opportunity for exchange, networking, and active co-creation. It thrives on the participation of artists, curators, institutions, and visitors and offers various ways of interacting: those interested can follow the projects online and gain an insight into the development of the exhibitions. Those who wish to become actively involved can comment on submitted works, suggest artists and experiments, and have discussions with curators and the rest of the community in the Telegram group chat. Artists can submit their own works. Those who would like to plan an exhibition themselves can create a curator profile on the platform, upload projects, and launch an open call for participants and the submission of works. All institutions are invited to realise collaborative exhibitions in their own venues.

In addition to the collective development of projects, the platform also provides a space for discourse and regularly offers free webinars, meetups, and talks with international curators, technologists, and experts.

The first webinar will take place on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 (4–4.45 pm), where Yasemin Keskintepe, curator at the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden, and Alexa Jeanne Kusber, curator at the Museum of Digital Art in Zürich, will discuss questions of Artificial Intelligence and Curating. A discussion about digital transformation in cultural institutions with Katrin Glinka, a cultural scientist at the Humboldt University of Berlin, and Barbara K. Fischer from the German National Library’s Office for Library Standards is scheduled for September 8, 2020. Further webinar dates and different event formats with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, and other speakers are in the pipeline.

To launch the platform, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf and the Museum Ulm have issued an open call for the upcoming exhibition Willkommen im Paradies (Welcome to Paradise). The exhibition will take place in February 2021. Some of the artworks will be found via the platform. From July 1 to August 5, 2020, artists can submit works and those interested can get involved. Two additional projects will also provide opportunities for participation: the Viennese exhibition bureau Machen is issuing an open call for Friseum, a project about the cultural history of hairstyling. Daniel Hengst and Clemens Schöll are also announcing an open call for the virtual reality exhibition In VR We Trust. is a joint project by the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf/Kunstpalast Düsseldorf and the Museum Ulm, funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation’s Digital Fund as part of their Kultur Digital programme and supported by the Beisheim Foundation.

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