What is Art360?

Art360 is an ambitious research project from DACS Foundation and supported by Art Council England, The National Archives, Art Fund and The Henry Moore Foundation.

Over the next three years, Art360 will work closely with 100 leading and innovative British artists and artists’ estates from a broad practice and career perspective. The project will explore best practice for capturing, curating and disseminating knowledge about the crucial importance of safeguarding the cultural heritage of British artists. This undoubtedly will have a heavy emphasis on digital.

The project will be a growing survey; an archive of exploration that highlights the issues and needs of artists. It will explore how their work is captured, curated and disseminated but also what their role is within that process — the control they have or need, the tools and advice they might require and the issues around their legacy in the digital age.

This publication will gather the discourse from copyright to digitisation, physical and digital storage, the value of the archive both culturally and financially and the issues of collaborative authorship. As the project grows we hope the contributions will grow also to cover the wide range of issues for practicing artists and artists’ estates.

The publication here on medium.com will chart the project with a series of posts from project partners, industry experts, as well as contributions from participating artists to help capture and facilitate the discussion about Art360.

What’s ahead?

At the heart of the Art360 project is the need to place artists at the centre of the debate about legacy. In a digitised world of content and assets there are great possibilities for artists to be shared and generate revenue but also many pressures.

Being part of the Web can simply mean distributing across multiple platforms but long-term there are issues of control, representation and provenance. Some of these seem explicit to the art world and differ to the conversations around the music and literary industries, which continue to go through changes with large public debate, perhaps due to a greater public consumption of the content.

The project is also set against the backdrop of the open agenda for digital content and the pressures that puts on the artist. Large art and culture institutions are forging ahead with creating greater access to collections and archival content, broadening the appeal and providing a necessary path for greater flexibility and use of rich material.

Art360 will look at how artists and their estates are engaging with that agenda and discover, through the active work with participating artists and estates, the benefits and difficulties of open access, the perception of ‘free’ and what is gained/lost in the process of networked distribution.

In the coming weeks you’ll see contributions covering:

  • Photography and authorship: good practice for documenting artists’ work
  • Shared legacies of artists’ groups and collectives — who is the owner?
  • Digital legacy and the artist’s digital archive
  • Archives at scale, what are the issues for major art institutions?
  • What’s the value of an archive?
  • Inheritance tax and The Cultural Gifts Scheme
  • Copyright and Artist’s Resale Right as part of legacy planning

Get involved

Follow the posts here on Medium, join the conversation with #Art360 or @DACSforArtists, or get in touch if you wish to participate and contribute to the publication by commenting here or emailing contact@dacsfoundation.org.uk. Keep up-to-date with the Art360 project at dacsfoundation.org.uk/art360/and sign-up to the DACS Foundation mailing list.

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