Last year I tried, for about four weeks, to maintain a 365 project (a daily published effort).
It turned out to be far too much work for me. My friend Virginia Gow however made it through the whole of 2013 with her daily photo project Tuhonohono, in which she snapped a picture with her phone every day, and then published it at night paired with a photo from a historical collection. Virginia persevered with the project not only across the year, but across the country, and also during a sojourn in the States.
In December, as part of the Old Hall Gigs series, Virginia gave a presentation on her project. She has blogged the notes, which are very well worth reading.
In her talk, Virginia quoted Charles Landry: “heritage works best when we perceive ourselves to be part of its continual creation”. This perspective is well embodied by the piece of work Chris McDowall has done based on Tuhohono, a piece of progamming magic that allows the whole year's worth of photos to be viewed and browsed as four-way colour chips.
Projects like Virginia's and Chris's show that art and heritage collections can be used and explored in many more ways than the books and exhibitions we are accustomed to. They also only enabled because the National Library of New Zealand (which Virginia used extensively for her historical images) allows and enables easy embedding, and Virginia herself is using a Creative Commons licence. Continual creation is what we - as collecting institutions - are here to help make happen; infrastructure like thoughtful, permissive licensing is what we need to offer as part of this continuum.