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Denmark/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.11 New technologies and digitalisation in the arts and culture

In two recent reports issued by the Ministry of Culture, Reach Out! and Culture for all, more attention is given to user-generated content and digital media. In Reach Out!, focus in mainly on the instrumental use of these aspects, encouraging these kind of uses to attract children and youth, and to create experiences which the public / users is ready to pay for. Hence, the focus is mainly on the quantitative side of culture, where attendance numbers and financial income is encouraged. The report is not particularly accurate on its last challenge, which is increasing quality, as it seems to get locked in the tension between encouraging amateur participation and ensuring professional standards. This is due to the report's limited view on the potential of digital media platforms, as a clear distinction is made between the "authentic here-and-now experience" and "the cultural institutions' potential of using digital media to establish contacts with its users". Here, the qualitative emancipative side of engaging in artistic creations is left out.

The same tendency is again dominating in Culture for all, where digital and electronic media is seen as platforms to communicate and give access to what is happening in Danish cultural life, to evoke interest and to facilitate a more positive and nuanced experience of provided information within institutional spaces. There are some interesting aspects in the report, which indicate a more nuanced view of the potential within digital communication, such as the digitisation of various databases and archives. There are, however, no solutions offered concerning the scope, terms of access and use of given services.

Overall, increasing weight is being put on processes of digitalisation in Danish cultural policy, in particular on digitising the cultural heritage. A key document in this process is the report Digitalising the Cultural Heritage, issued in 2009. In this report, much weight is put on conservation, protection and accessibility of a digitally coded version of the cultural heritage. Many cultural institutions are currently working actively with these issues, for instance the SMK Digital (National Gallery of Denmark) and a new project called Danish Cultural Heritage, which works at giving digital accessibility to the Danish cultural heritage. The Danish Cultural Heritage project involves co-operation between the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, the Danish Film Institute, The Royal Library, National Museum, the National Gallery of Denmark, The State Archives, the State Library and The Danish Agency for Culture.

Cultural heritage has a central role in the construction of "Danish identities" in a globalised world, as well as an increased emphasis on the behalf of the EU on digitising the European cultural heritage. A good example of this is the Europeana project.

Processes of digitalisation are high on the agenda within Danish cultural policy. This can for instance be seen in the Film Agreement (see chapter 3.4.4), in projects that touch upon providing access and use to digital archives (see chapter 4.2.11), as well as challenges regarding copyright (see chapter 5.3.8).

Chapter published: 10-04-2012

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