Tagged at Dundee Contemporary Arts: how your mobile phone can demystify print-based artworks

Simone O'Callaghan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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This paper explores a collaboration between TOTeM (Tales of Things and Electronic Memories), a UK University research project based around the ’Internet of Things’, and Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) Print Studio. Supported by Research Councils UK – Digital Economy, TOTeM explores new ways of preserving people’s memories and stories, through linking objects to the Internet via emerging technologies such as QR Codes.
In this collaboration, print-based artworks produced at Dundee Contemporary Arts for the DCA Editions program, and artworks made also by invited members of the open access print studio are linked (known as ‘tagging’) via a Quick Response code (QR code) to digital media content which can be played on a mobile phone. Members of the TOTeM team at the University of Dundee are carrying out research through the use of a public facing site, developed by their University College London (UCL) partners called talesofthings.com where digital media content relating to artworks created in the DCA Print Studio is uploaded. This may take the form of video, text or audio of stories and inspiration, in the creation of the artworks. By working in collaboration with a community of artists, tagging can provide a platform of communication about the artwork between the artist and potential buyer/collector.
Although this is a means of enabling artists to connect with their audiences, reaching beyond artist/maker communities and out to buyers and collectors, other research questions arise, such as, Do artists really want the concepts behind their works to be explicit? What does this mean for the artist and their audiences if the ‘mystery’ surrounding concepts, or how the work was produced, is demystified in this way? If artists choose to create digital content relating to how the work was produced, how does this affect their working practices in the print studio?
This paper examines initial findings in terms of the research questions, art making and the logistics encountered when marrying print-based artworks with cutting-edge mobile technologies in the context of a large multi-disciplinary research project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntersections and Counterpoints
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of Impact 7, an International Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking Conference
EditorsLuke Morgan
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherMonash University Publishing
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781921867576
ISBN (Print)9781921867569
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking Conference: Intersections & Counterpoints - Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Sep 201130 Sep 2011
Conference number: 7


ConferenceInternational Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking Conference
Abbreviated titleIMPACT 7
Internet address


  • Digital media
  • Mobile media
  • Contemporary art
  • Social media
  • Printmaking
  • Digital printmaking
  • Tagging technologies
  • Tagging


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