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The re-use of digital collections in museums and archives generates new narratives with potentially surprising and innovative forms. Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision have invited three makers to create new works based on their digital collections. Artist Guy Königstein, filmmaker Donna Verheijden and artist/designer Oana Clitan have each developed a media work that will be exhibited at Het Nieuwe Instituut from 14 November.


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Open Archive invites makers and heritage organisations to debate the importance of creative reuse of heritage and the accessibility of online collections. Through an open call, three makers were selected to experiment with the possibilities of digital heritage collections in creative, technological and copyright-related ways. The expertise acquired through this talent development process will be shared with makers and heritage professionals in various ways. 

The makers

In her project, Oana Clitan uses the rhetoric of historical and current news broadcasting to speculate on how information will be presented in the future. The installation explores a scenario in which electrical devices are damaged, so that it is impossible to produce new visual content. The only means of visual expression in this world is through scarce, salvaged archival materials, which the government uses to inform citizens about the latest developments in the crisis.

Like frozen spaces from times gone by, silent meeting rooms, empty staircases, dusty shelves, long corridors and closed doors provide a stage for uninvited visitors. Guy Köningstein assumes the role of one unexpected guest or harmless intruder, wandering through the archive’s maze in search of connections and ways of belonging. Opening drawers and files, he asks the question: ‘Dear past, what would it take to throw you off balance?

The Stolen Archive is a speculative thriller. The video installation by Donna Verheijden makes connections between the stories and events hidden in the archives of Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Verheijden draws upon the collections as repositories of images, audio clips and objects that can be used as characters, props and sets

Archive Interpretations at Het Nieuwe Instituut

Het Nieuwe Instituut manages one of the world’s largest architectural archives. Like every archive, the State Archive of Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning only comes to life when the preserved materials are studied, interpreted and publicly shared. Since 2014, Het Nieuwe Instituut has invited designers, artists and researchers to help open up its collection – for example through commissions in the New Archive Interpretation series – encouraging them to examine the archive’s role in their work.

Sound and Vision

Sound and Vision also examines new ways to open up and reuse the audio-visual collection they manage in a series of projects. Open Images is a platform in which thousands of videos are made available under open license. Sound and Vision actively encourages varied, experimental reuse. For example, the institute has commissioned GIFs of historical visual material, while the RE:VIVE project stimulates electronic musicians to create new beats from historical sound recordings.

This project is made possible with support from the Mondriaan Fund.