Display At Your Own Risk (DAYOR) is a research-led exhibition experiment featuring digital surrogates of public domain works of art produced by cultural heritage institutions of international repute. The project includes a Gallery Exhibition as well as an open source version of that exhibition intended for public use.

Gallery Exhibition

The exhibition opened at The Lighthouse in Glasgow on 8 June 2016 for one night only. The works featured in the exhibition were curated from the online collections of internationally renowned cultural institutions. The digital surrogate made available on the institution’s website was printed to the original dimensions of the underlying object. As most institutions claim copyright over the photographs they take of works in their collection, the institutions themselves were credited as the author and/or copyright owner of these digital surrogates where appropriate. Information about how the institution licenses the use of these surrogates – including information about pricing where relevant – was also included within the exhibition.

The exhibition is guided by a number of concerns. By printing the digital surrogate to the work’s original dimensions, it invites reflection on the nature and quality of the reproductions that institutions make available online in place of the material object within their care. It considers the meaning of concepts such as access, transparency and user engagement in an age where digital collections are becoming increasingly relevant. And it explores tensions inherent in the ownership and use of cultural heritage, as well as the validity of the authorial claims that institutions assert over these digital surrogates – surrogates that are often viewed as new and independent assets.

Open Source Exhibition

On 26 April an open source version of the exhibition was made available online to mark World Intellectual Property Day 2016, the theme of which is ‘Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined.’

The open source exhibition includes all of the digital surrogates curated for the Gallery Exhibition, and is intended to allow users to curate their own exhibitions featuring these works. All 100 works can be previewed here.

In Downloads you can find the open source exhibition file, as well as a Display At Your Own Risk poster. The open source file is organized according to categories of risk informed by whether the relevant institution makes any copyright claim over the digital surrogate, the copyright law relevant to the institution’s jurisdiction, and the contractual terms and conditions set out on the institution’s website. When there is little to no risk in making use of the digital surrogate without the express permission of the institution, the print files are made available, resized to the public domain work’s original dimensions. When the possible risks are higher or uncertain, instructions for how to access, resize, and print the digital surrogate are included in place of the print file. Citation information is also included for each work, as are the terms of use specified by each institution.

Finally, the exhibition file contains the research data underpinning this project. You can read more about the research process and methodology informing Display At Your Own Risk in Publications.

By making the exhibition available online and open source, we hope to enable a multi-exhibition opening on 8 June 2016 with various users around the world. More importantly, perhaps, we hope to encourage users to enjoy, engage with, and create their own relationships with these wonderful works.


Contact us at research@displayatyourownrisk.org

Please cite this online resource as: Andrea Wallace and Ronan Deazley, Display At Your Own Risk, 2016.