The New Access to Culture

Austrian Cultural Institutions and their Digital Future

Date: Wednsday 12. June 2013    Time: 19:30

Location: Museum for Applied Arts (MAK),  Stubenring 5  1010 Wien

Österreichische Kulturinstitutionen und ihre Zukunftsperspektiven (2).

Marc Sands, Director of Media and Audiences, Tate London

Laurence Rassel, Director Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Director MAK, Vienna

Gabriele Fröschl,  Director Österreichische Mediathek, Vienna

Bettina Kann,  Head of Digital Library, Austrian National Library, Vienna

Moderated by Corinna Milborn / Prevented in last minute and replaced by Felix Stalder


Digital access is a challenge towards a vibrant culture of the future. New communication networks offer opportunities for a renewal of democratic structures. A broader social integration may be perceived not only as a potential threat to established institutions and business models but rather as positive future prospects.

Central issues are:

• What are the challenges and barriers to the possibilities of digital access to culture and the digital use?

• What role can public cultural institutions take in digital information landscapes?

For more than 10 years the European Parliament and the European Commission try to strengthen the awareness of the need for open and comprehensive access to the Government Data area with a Public Sector Information Directive. Since 2009 a revision of the directive is being prepared that increasingly addresses the role of public museums and collections and where the focus is on strengthening the cultural contribution in the European countries as one of the priorities of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

Not only is direct access to the data paramount. Easy use and re-use is considered a benchmark for successful integration in the area of ​​public information providers. In the future, publicly funded cultural institutions are to publish their content inexpensively and machine-readable. This is seen both as a democratic political requirement as well as a necessity for a prosperous European information economy.

Not only open access to information, but also the broad participation in European culture is the focus of public debate. To open the European cultural heritage and to recognize its social significance, the potential of public information sources and institutions of cultural memory needs to be fully realized. Cultural institutions can contribute to the development of an open information democracy in Europe through exemplary leadership. Public institutions have an exemplary function in the promotion of transparency and reforms to improve life in Europe.


World-Information Institute on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture. In cooperation with MAK.


The panel discussion is related to a previous workshop with Austrian experts, representatives of museums, libraries and archives.

International best practice input from:


Paul Keller

Paul Keller copyright policy advisor and vice-chair of Knowledgeland, an Amsterdam based think-tank focussed on innovation in the knowledge economy. Paul is an expert on open content and data licensing with a special focus on cultural heritage organizations, music and creative industries. He is public project lead for Creative Commons in the Netherlands. Trained as a political scientist he currently works on the intersection of culture, technology and policy.


Dr. Oliver Sander

Dr. Oliver Sander studied archiving, history, political science and psychology in Berlin. Since September 2005 he is the head of unit B 6 (images, maps, plans, posters, recordings = “Digital Picture Archives”) in the Federal Archives Germany. Selected projects include providing Internet access to the Digital Picture Archives, a collaboration with the Federal Press Office and the integration of BPA photos to the Digital Picture Archives and a cooperation with Wikimedia Commons.


Marc Sands,

Marc Sands is the director of “Audiences and Media” at Tate London. In this function he leads and develops the Tate brand across online, broadcast and social media, strengthens Tate’s relationships with audiences and building social networks for the organisation. Before that he was the marketing director of The Guardian and The Observer for ten years.


Laurence Rassel

Laurence Rassel is the Director of the Antoni Tàpies Foundation in Barcelona. Her work is characterised by critical effort on intellectual property in the area of art and new technologies. As curator, conference speaker and cultural director, she has contributed to various festivals, museums and international cultural centres in Belgium, Spain and France amongst others.


Prodromos Tsiavos

Prodromos Tsiavos is the legal project lead for the Creative Commons -England and Wales and Greece projects. He is an adviser on legal issues of open data in the Greek Prime Minister’s e-Government Task Force and the Special Secretary for Digital Planning. He is consulting the Special Secretary for Digital Planning on issues of Open Data Management and Regulation and is a lecturer in the Greek National School of Public Administration.