HOW PUBLIC IS THE PUBLIC MUSEUM ?

In Marysia Lewandowska’s contribution to Moderna Exhibition 2010 she brings attention to Moderna Museet’s logo, which the museum adopted by using Robert Rauschenberg’s handwriting generously donated by him to the museum. It is the gift, which must remain in circulation that underpins most of cultural transactions associated with museums.

Her project entitled “How Public is the Public Museum” introduces the aspects of giving by exploring generosity through contemporary means of contributing to the
Public Domain. She requested from all of those participating in the making of the exhibition to donate their cultural products appearing in this catalogue, be it as images, texts, translations or design, by declaring non-proprietary forms of ownership effecting their future use, and agreeing to releasing their materials with Creative Commons or anti-copyright licences. Her project becomes
embedded in the very processes affecting both the institution and the public at large. The project creates a space for reflection disseminating the ideas across a number of separate but related encounters, once through the catalogue itself, and again in releasing a double-sided poster as a gift to the visitors of the exhibition.

The project allows for a wider discussion concerning responsibility of all cultural producers to consider their own positions inside knowledge economies, which are being continually altered by network culture, and the threat posed by intellectual property regimes.

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June 30th, 2010

Dear Contributor to Modernautställningen 2010,

As one of the participating artists in the Moderna Exhibition 2010 I have been researching the relationship between Intellectual Property and generosity of the public museum. My inspiration comes from the moment in Moderna Museet’s own history when Robert Rauschenberg agreed for his handwriting to be turned into the museum logo in 2003.

His gift articulates an important gesture which signals how all cultural institutions and perhaps, museums in particular, relay on the generosity of cultural producers, be it artists, curators, critics, writers, designers and many others.

My invitation to all of you involved in the catalogue of Modernautställningen 2010, is to consider releasing your contributions; texts, images, design into the public domain.

This would at the same time be a symbolic gesture as well as a concrete way for the museum to embrace and promote new ecologies of knowledge production and dissemination. It would allow us to address the rather contradictory nature of how museums themselves deal with the questions of openness, authorship and the threshold between public and private.

My request primarily effects the publication of the catalogue, which I suggest could become the very first Moderna Museet publication carrying the Creative Commons License. The version of the license I would like to propose is explained below. Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Sweden