Tate Britain Unbound

My (rejected) project proposal for the Tate IK Prize 2015, submitted November 7, 2014:

Tate Britain Unbound

by Cosmo Wenman

Q: Tell us who you are and what creative digital projects you have done in the past (150 words max).

As a freelance designer, consultant, and lifelong informal art student, for the last several years I’ve been experimenting with the 3D capture, 3D printing, remixing, and copyright-free digital publication of antiquities and fine art.

I have published online several scans of works in the Louvre and British Museum.

My recently completed project Through A Scanner, Skulpturhalle produced and freely shared 3D surveys of 19th-century plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures from the Skulpturhalle, Basel museum in Switzerland.

That project published for the very first time high-quality 3D surveys of Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, and the Medusa Rondanini, among several others. These surveys have been downloaded 70,000 times in the few months since their publication, and have been 3D printed by art lovers all over the world. This bleeding edge project received international press coverage from a diverse collection of pop culture, tech, art, and conservation-oriented media outlets.

Q: How would you use digital technology, platforms or tools, to “connect the world to art”, creating a new way for the public to discover and enjoy British art from Tate’s collection? (150 words max).

Ecstasy by Eric Gill in bronze by Cosmo Wenman_close crop

Tate Britain Unbound will digitize and publish online, copyright-free, archival-quality 3D surveys and 3D-print-ready models of iconic, public domain sculptural artwork from Tate Britain. 3D visualizations of the works will be added to Tate.org.uk.


The public can Tweet their remixed surveys to be 3D printed and displayed at Tate Britain, all broadcast via live webcams.

Select remixes will be 3D printed large-scale and displayed. Example: Eric Gill’s Ecstasy, digitized, 3D printed, cast in bronze

Tate Britain Unbound will allow Tate Britain to experiment with projecting its collection outward,  turning it into a living engine of cultural creation, to be endlessly adapted, multiplied, and remixed in unpredictable venues and media. We’ll set it loose to come alive in a vibrant, lively, and anarchic popular culture beyond the museum’s walls.

Tate Britain Unbound’s worldwide engagement with the public would begin immediately. Its effects will unfold over hundreds of years.