UPDATE, MAY 2014: VanGoYourself is live and you can play it now! Just go to www.vangoyourself.com.
Read on for the background story!
Today, Wednesday January 22nd, is Museum Selfie Day using the #MuseumSelfie hashtag on Twitter – so what better day to share the news of Culture24’s exciting new online participation idea? (Warning – this idea is really good fun!)
So what’s the idea?
‘VanGoYourself’ (working title) offers venues an opportunity to directly engage visitors with their paintings in playful ways.
This responsive website, which is currently being developed, is aimed at museum and gallery visitors who are tired of just looking at paintings, and like the idea of getting inside them instead. Its inherent sociability, playfulness and photographic output also support the behaviour of a group of friends out for an evening together.
Via the website, people choose from a selection of paintings and pick one that they would like to recreate as a photograph with their friends.
They then upload and share their photograph, twinned with the original painting, for others to enjoy.
They can decide how ambitious they feel, then choose to recreate an easy, medium or hard painting from a selection of classics (including paintings from your collection).
The service will be free and simple to use, and will link up to existing digital channels that users already engage with such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.
How ‘VanGoYourself’ can be part of your Museums at Night event
Do you have one or more paintings featuring people (one person to larger groups is fine) that would be suitable for visitors to recreate – perhaps featuring a famous historical figure or a dramatic scene?
A VanGoYourself recreation of Rembrandt’s Night Watch. Night Watch recreated by Kennisland and licensed under CC BY 2.0
You will need to choose paintings that are already digitised, and are outside of any copyright restrictions, so that they can be added to the ‘VanGoYourself’ responsive website and shared widely.
Is there space in your museum or gallery to set up a “recreation station”? This could involve a rack or box of costume pieces and props such as hats, plastic swords, capes or toys similar to those that appear in the artwork.
Ideally, groups of people who come through the gallery should be able to look at the original painting to copy their poses, while their photograph is taken.
It will also help if your venue offers wifi to visitors!
‘VanGoYourself ’ is currently being developed by Culture24 as part of Europeana Creative, and will be ready in time for Museums at Night in May.
For more information, and to discuss how this opportunity might work in your venue, please contact Nick Stockman on 01273 623278.