… and help artists to get discovered more easily.
In July 2012 a whole city was turned into a giant virtual library. Since then the project evolved to a platform for discovering local artists.
Once you leave the story, there isn’t a lot you can do with NFC.
First application to try that out
Klagenfurt is a town of approx. 100,000 inhabitants in the south of Austria. In and around Klagenfurt there are 120 flashy-yellow stickers (1) which lead to digital content from artists of the region. 50 of those are situated at bus stops, 20 more on supermarkets and 50 more can be found at the entrance of bars, shops, bookshops or youth centers. All are accessible 24/7.
how it works
We tried to hide the complexity from the user as best as we could. Project Ingeborg is very easy to use:
- Just turn your NFC enabled smartphone on and hold it on the sticker or photograph the QR-code.
- A mobile website with the content will be opened.
- The song or e-book is just one more tap away.
Pictograms on the stickers (2) show how easy it is to use. On modern NFC-smartphones there‘s not even an app necessary to access the content. In case there‘s an app necessary (QR or e-reader) a detailed and yet simple help page link to the respective app store. A map (3) on the website lists all the locations.
We aim to promote artists from the region within the region with samples of their work. Links to iTunes, Amazon and local bookshops should help to increase the revenue of promoted artists. With the help of technology we also aim to inspire tech enthusiasts for consuming more art.
Viral distribution is part of the system: participating artists will be announced on our Facebook page (http://fb.me/pingeb.org). The more artists talk about it on their fanpages the more the popularity of the project itself increases, thus helping succeeding artists.
location based and exciting
Since August 1st we are featuring one local artist (musician, band, author) every week. Prior to that, we offered 70 classical books that were already in the public domain. Every book had a connection to the respecting location. So you could find Arthur Schnitzler‘s „The murderer“ close to the police station, William Shakespear‘s „A Midsummer Night‘s Dream“ at the lake or the children‘s tales of Selma Lagerlöf at a public kindergarten.
This way we „tricked“ people to the stickers with their curiosity. „What could be hidden here?“ All this content came from the great „Project Gutenberg“.
Our music- and ebook-downloads are only available mobile. While pingeb.org otherwise would only be one of many websites, an action on the side of the user is necessary, thus raising the regard for the free piece of art and increasing the fun of discovering new artists.
At the start there were 70 stickers – a number with high symbolic meaning for the project. With this number we wanted to give a constructive contribute to the current discussion regarding copyright reform. Copyright vanishes 70 years after the death of an artist. This period before a piece of art gets into public domain is – in our understanding – far too long. 35 years post mortem would be far enough.
With the offer to download old classics we wanted to show what enormous treasures are hidden. During this period we recognized how many people did not even know that something like „public domain“ exists.
Project Ingeborg turned Klagenfurt for a whole month symbolically into a giant library. With that we wanted to draw the attention to the fact that Klagenfurt is the only bigger town in Central Europe not having a community library on its own.
The name of the project is a reminiscence to Ingeborg Bachmann, one of the most famous german-speaking poets, originating from Klagenfurt. The start collided with the famous Bachman literature festival which guaranteed us a lot of attention for our project.
We took care that – if possible – every software we used was licensed under open source in order to lower the barriers for possible imitators who want to do a project like this in their region. We use the content management system WordPress and developed upon it. The plugin and a how-to-manual will be made available on November 3rd, 2012 at http://pep.pingeb.org
A rather complex URL management allows us to locate individual downloads, enabling some kind of „arts analytics“. We do not want to track individual users but we have an interest to know where in Klagenfurt the works of our artists are being consumed. Blobs on a map symbolize each download.
The stickers (4) are based on plastic labels which can easily be laser printed in local print shops. An NFC-tag is located behind the label which consists basically of a tiny chip and a relatively big antenna. Since the electricity comes from the smartphone there is not need for an external power supply like a battery. NFC is a technology for wireless transmission of tiny bits of data developed in Austria (NXP at Gratkorn near Graz) which currently celebrates a triumphal march at the global cellphone market.
project partners and financing
Project Ingeborg is a nonprofit project that does not follow any commercial interests (e.g. sales, advertising). The project costs up until now were solely financed by the initiators. Project Ingeborg got support by STW Mobility and Spar Kärnten who offered locations. NXP supplied us with some NFC-tags.
- Dozens of articles in newspapers and online publications in Austria as well as 20 other countries (from the US to China, from Japan to Brazil and Argentina).
- The global media coverage is proof to us that something like this has never been done before.
- More than 700 downloads in the first two months.
- At the end of September we finalized in an Austrian-wide competition (netidee.at) to get fundings by the Austrian Internet Foundation (IPA). These fundings allow us to market the project better in order to find enthusiast around the world.
Georg Holzer, journalist and author
Bruno Hautzenberger, software engineer
With great support from our friends: Kerstin Rosenzopf (artwork), Verena Artinger (webdesign), Iris Wedenig (literature), Martina Brücker and Nadja Rosenzopf (Models for press photographs), Daniel Gollner (video).