Cross Media Publishing: Cinekid MediaLab 2016

In a joint project in fall 2016, Cinekid MediaLab (an annual exposition of media art for children), PublishingLab (part of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and Domain for Art Criticism produced forty-seven blogposts, a collection of essays and a website. Five critics and artists were involved in research and writing, while four students developed a website to use for publishing all the content. It might seem nothing special, compared to a lot of cross media activity in the cultural scene. The field on which we were operating, though, made it something different from many other initiatives: art criticism. Can cross media publishing be a durable strategy for art criticism, was the question leading us in the background. The conclusion was that the use of different content carriers deepens critical reflection, but to be an effective strategy, some complex criteria should be met.

The three formats that were used, blogposts, essays and website, together provided for a rich source of information, consisting of experiences crystallized in text and visuals, and proposals for developing a vision on the artworks presented at Cinekid. We achieved two of our objectives: We unfolded the rich artistic, social, philosophical and aesthetic values of the artworks; and we made the reader feel and understand the direct relation between the artworks and the actual debates concerning new technological developments.

The third objective turned out to be problematic: the involvement in the process of reflection of professionals from the media, industry, technological innovation, education, and also of parents. Despite traditional and present day PR activities and distributing the publication in our national and international networks, we stayed mostly invisible for the public domain. All media noted the annual Cinekid exposition, but none of the journalists mentioned the blogs, the publication or the website. Of the lessons learned this leads to probably the most important conclusion: that the distribution of your product should have priority above all other plans and ideas.

Read more about the project in Dutch: Cross Mediaal publiceren over Cinekid MediaLab op

The project was carried out with grants from the Mondriaan Fund and Creative Industries Fund NL