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Together with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the International Institute of Social History, Het Nieuwe Instituut is organising the second edition of Open Archive, a programme in which three makers search for new stories in open, digital heritage collections, with the aim of making a new media work. From 3 June, Jessica de Abreu, Femke Dekker and Michiel Huijben will present their works, which share the theme of ‘activism and archives’.


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Open Archive

Making digital, open, royalty-free collections available online allows institutions and makers to discover new and surprising stories. Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision are collaborating with the International Institute of Social History to stimulate the creative re-use of open, digital heritage collections. Making digital heritage accessible for artistic use is central to this, with room for diverse creative, technical and copyright interpretations.

Jessica de Abreu, Femke Dekker and Michiel Huijben were selected from more than 190 makers who responded to an open call. All three have a strong multidisciplinary vision of the creative use of archival materials. The jury was particularly impressed by their original research questions and their contemporary and critical vision of the archive in relation to current social developments. During a five-month working period, they were given the opportunity to create a new artwork based on the three institutions’ open archives.

In addition to an exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Open Archive will conclude with an online symposium on the creative re-use of archival materials. Open Archive is made possible in part by the Pictoright Fund.

New forms of accessibility

Het Nieuwe Instituut became a heritage institution on 1 January 2021. Forming networks and partnerships is essential for making the collection accessible. Different forms of research – speculative, academic, design-based, public – allow the development of new approaches and methodologies for looking at the collection, assigning value to it and giving it meaning.