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Active Image: providing a marketplace and community for digital imagery

Stanley Kubrick exhibition 2019 at the Design Museum, London

Founded in 2018 by Henning Lohner, Active Image is a Berlin-based start-up with the mission to accelerate the transformation of the visual art experience by delivering unique digital offers with trust value.

Active Image is a community of artists, museums, collectors and general art fans that form a marketplace for displaying and collecting digital imagery.

Together, the artists and technology professionals have developed an exclusive experience: making digital art and content as unique as any analogue object.

Here MuseumNext talks to Henning and CEO Hiram Bingham about the digital challenges to the sector and the solutions Active Image can provide.

What are the digital challenges museums face?

Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, Cube in the Foyer, 2021

Henning: Museums are important keepers of cultural records, artistic curation and public presentation. However, society and culture are going through a massive transition and museums have become ever more vulnerable to the challenges of digital transformation.

Not only are museums typically strapped for technology resources – and therefore behind in making the digital transformation for their business – but their supply of new artistic content is also going through a transformation.

How is the digital landscape changing for museums?

Hiram: Artistic content is becoming more digital, consumers expect and embrace the digital content and new technologies allow for an entirely new artistic experience.

In fact, the highest growth segments of the art market are online sales and digital art, at up to 25% growth rates. The 2021 NFT trend underscores this rapid transformation.

What have been the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Henning: At the global level, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this digital trend, by straining museums as they were forced to close their physical spaces. They effectively became invisible. With declining physical visits, the brand sponsors saw their sponsorship value decline with declining reach. It became extremely urgent to have a digital strategy and solution.

How can Active Image help museums with their digital challenges?

Stanley Kubrick exhibition 2019 at the Design Museum, London

Hiram: Active Image has a technology solution that delivers an entirely new digital business model to museums. The company offers an app and art marketplace that provide increased digital reach combined with secure, game-changing technology to monetise museum membership and subscriptions. As part of the offering, digital canvases are provided to the museums at their locations to present artistic content.

What are the benefits of the Active Image app?

Henning: With the Active Image app and technology platform, museums gain five things:

  • Digital canvases on location, at the museum, for presentation of the artwork
  • Immersive experience, which customizable for any physical space and any number of canvases to deliver an amazing viewer experience
  • Increased reach to new visitors/members via the Active Image digital marketplace platform
  • New revenue streams, by participating in the subscription model revenues, selling limited edition series and selling exhibition tickets
  • New digital profile in the platform and their own white label solution

Potential:

  • The Active Image platform is easy to use and scalable.
  • It delivers new ways for content to be seen and monetised, enabling museums to securely transition into the digital future and to reach their audience anywhere in the world.

If your interested in digital exhibitions join us at the MuseumNext Digital Exhibitions Summit from 6-8 December.

About the author – Adrian Murphy

Adrian is the Editor of MuseumNext and has 20 years’ experience as a journalist, half of which has been writing for the cultural sector.

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