Switzerland/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.11 New technologies and digitalisation in the arts and culture

Within its four-year plan (Dispatch on Culture for the years 2012-2015), the federal government is pursuing the transversal theme "Digital Culture".

The measures envisaged in this respect include the utilisation of new information technologies by the Federal Office of Culture for the recording and representation of Switzerland's cultural heritage and for the promotion of reading, the fostering of digital cultural work, including computer games of artistic value, by Pro Helvetia and the Film Section of the Federal Office of Culture, and the digitisation of image archives by the Swiss National Museum.

Already prior to the four-year plan, considerable endeavours existed for making Switzerland an information society.

In 1998, Switzerland's federal government presented its national information society strategy. One important driver in this respect was "sitemapping.ch", a public project of the Federal Office of Culture including the production, dissemination, archiving, and conservation of digital media art.

One example of a public-private partnership is "Plug.in" (http://www.iplugin.org) which is a space for contemporary art that applies electronic media. It is funded by the city and canton of Basel and by an important foundation. Media technology has become an important component of everyday life. Plug.in deals with the social and artistic questions resulting from the blending of life and media technology. In 2006, it initiated the Shift Electronic Arts Festival (which it has co-organised since 2007).


Chapter published: 12-11-2014


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