John Glover, Thirlmere, Image © Tate

Tate, UK

Laura Carletti, 16.09.2013
Art Maps is a collaborative research project involving Tate, Horizon Digital Economy Research at the University of Nottingham and the Centre for Intermedia at the University of Exeter.

The project explores the relation between artworks and place, through the development of a crowdsourcing platform with web and mobile interfaces.

Approximately one third of the Tate’s collection of about 70,000 artworks has been indexed with information about locations – typically the site represented in the work. For some artworks this information is specific, but in many cases it is quite general, referring only to a city, region or major geographic feature.

The Art Maps project aims to improve the quality of the geographic data relating to these works with members of the public contributing information.

The project also aims to gain insights into how people use mobile technology to generate location-based interactions with their environment through art, and with art through their personal histories.

In 2012, two public engagement events took place at Tate Britain in London.

While wandering in the area around Tate Britain, participants were prompted by Tate facilitators through phone texts and tasks to browse the Tate collection and Art Maps, as well as to use their mobile phones to create en-route content and to share online their art-driven journeys.

Feedback from these events support the premise that the Art Maps platform can be used as public engagement tool as well as crowdsourcing system. The platform will be publicly launched at the beginning of 2014.

Blog entries and videos on the first and second public events can be found online.

Laura Carletti is a Horizon research fellow at the University of Nottingham.