© Irini Khenkin

Digital technology and social media have radically changed the way we act in art galleries. #AnotherGallery exhibition is a collaboration between artists’ rights management organisation DACS and students on BA Culture, Criticism and Curation. Here BA CCC students Irini Khenkin, Emily Takeuchi-Brown, Anastasiia Noga and Helene Jackson share the ideas behind the project.

Featuring both photography and video, #AnotherGallery explores the changing dynamic of the public’s interaction with museums and galleries via social media. It considers how the public engages with the gallery space, why they take pictures, share content, and  as a result, how boundaries between originality and ownership become blurred.

The truth is that the internet is no longer a hobby or tool but rather a necessity completely integrated in all aspects of our lives. Through social media, artists can promote their work to a broader audience, something that the commercial gallery structure cannot offer them. Transforming their work from physical to digital, it is no longer limited by the restraints of the physical world, giving the artist exposure beyond the walls of a gallery space.

The immaterial nature of the internet creates an environment in which we feel unrestrained by laws and copyright infringements of “real life”, creating a false freedom to reproduce, copy and appropriate material to our own personal liking.

DACS is a non-profit organisation ensuring artists maintain visual rights for their work. Our collaboration with DACS, #AnotherGallery highlights the difficulties policing copyright on the internet where determining originality is difficult. The exhibition comprises a series of screen shots taken from Instagram searches of key art institutions in London, looking into copyright and how that relates to our everyday lives as members of a complex online community. Our presence within the framework of an online social space become more relevant as the digital world has turned itself into such a necessity.

Our goal is to challenge, but not criticise, the notion of the gallery as a brand and the correlation between content and space. During the project, we faced many issues with copyright ourselves, not only did we discover that permission to use images of various Instagram users needed to be acquired but we also needed to obtain permission to use images of works featured in the various photographs.

Collaborative duo Wright x Vandamn will be providing a selfie workshop, as well as a walking tour of east London galleries, where participants will be encouraged to create their own work, and discuss ideas surrounding how the public engages with the gallery space.

#AnotherGallery will be on display at DACS’ space in East London from February 24 – March 3. Entry is free and by appointment only.

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