BEYOND ART is a web platform and app that allows audiences to interact with art before, during and after the festival or exhibition you visit. The platform is designed to deepen critical and meaningful engagement between audiences and artists, practitioners and art institutions. Using BEYOND ART users can immediately access guided tours, discussions between experts, in-depth video interviews, recordings of lectures, performances, panels and other inspiring content, and the recordings of panels, lectures, performances and other programs they may have missed or simply want to see a second time.
BEYOND Art was created by IMPAKT with the support of Stichting DEN, and designed and developed by the creative design agency van Leeuwen & van Leeuwen. The idea from the platform comes from IMPAKT’s desire to implement digital technology to actively enhance audiences engagement with artwork beyond the walls of the gallery and beyond a single encounter with an exhibition or festival. BEYOND Art was a response to an open call for ideas from Stichting DEN for cultural institutions to use technology to offer innovative solutions to the public and their experience with art and culture in the Netherlands. At IMPAKT we asked ourselves: How can we meaningfully extend and enhance engagement with art events beyond a single encounter? BEYOND Art was our answer to this research question.
Using the IMPAKT Festival 2019: Speculative Interfaces as a test case we produced a prototype of the platform. With the help of DEN and Anne-Marie Kremer from Cultuur Ontwerp, IMPAKT created a fully-fledged prototype from initial research, design, development to release in the Apple Store and Google Play Store in under nine months. To do this we employed design thinking that incorporated: research with audiences, potential partner institutions and experts, design, development and reflection at all stages of the project. IMPAKT has developed a prototype of BEYOND Art, a web platform and app that can be used by festivals and art institutions to take their audiences further into the contents of the programmes they are organising. BEYOND Art aims to increase audience reach and enhance public engagement at Dutch art institutions before, during and after a cultural event or exhibition. The new possibilities we are creating with BEYOND are not only useful to IMPAKT, but will be of value for art institutions in and outside the Netherlands. In 2020, we aim to further develop the platform and make it available to festivals, museums, galleries and other cultural organisations in the Netherlands.
In the spirit of Stichting DEN’s admiral goal to share knowledge in the cultural sector, the following is our attempt to share with our audience and fellow cultural institutions our experiences during this exciting process and the reflections we have made and the lessons we have learned along the way. The text, just like our platform and working methodology is designed around considering a process through the rubric of Before, During and After.