Burning Man to showcase work based on British Library images

Open access project has reached far afield since its launch last year

August 24, 2014

Last December, the British Library decided to release 1 million uncurated, unordered images “into the wild”. 

It was designed as an experiment to see how open access can spark research and creativity.  All the varied images were taken from the library’s digitised books and uploaded on to Flickr, allowing anyone to re-use, remix and repurpose them however they wanted.

They have received more than 180 million views to date and attracted academic interest in a PhD. But they have also been used to create albums of historical men with beards, new Manga versions of scenes from 19th-century books and a “metadata game” from Dartmouth College where players are scored on tagging pictures of ships from the archive.

Even more surprising was the decision of artist David Normal to draw on the material put up on Flickr Commons to create four artworks for the legendary Burning Man festival, “dedicated to radical self-reliance, radical self-expression and art”, which takes place every summer in Nevada.

For this year’s event, which was due to start on 25 August but has been delayed by unexpected heavy rain, Normal has drawn on illustrations from 19th-century books to make his own “Crossroads of Curiosity”, a suite of four vast lightboxes.

They were set to be prominently installed in the “Caravansary” at the very heart of the festival, surrounding the effigy of the Burning Man itself.

matthew.reisz@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Summer Receptionists

University Of Chichester

PhD fellow within Machine Learning for Personalized Healthcare

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Lecturer in Finance

Maynooth University

Teaching Laboratory Assistant

University Of Bristol
See all jobs

Most Commented

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

Alexander Wedderburn

Former president of the British Psychological Society remembered

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham