MUSEY is a new, free arts app that is launching at the Lumiere Festival this weekend. The creators of MUSEY, a Harvard based team, conceived of it “as a free app for tourists, pedestrians and art-lovers to discover art and performances outside of museum walls”. The focus of this app is to bring community interest, publicity and funding to grassroots arts projects such as street music, temporary pavilions, installations, performances, and free concerts and festivals. The app therefore seems perfectly suited to an event such as the Lumiere Festival where there is a definite focus on local artists and art within the community, with installations going up in locations as diverse as the University Science Site, to the roundabout on North Road.
But how does the app work for someone on the ground? First things first, the app is very user-friendly, particularly for an event such as Lumiere, where the installations are scattered all over the city. The software ‘geo-locates’ you in real time with a map displaying the locations of all of the artworks across Durham, so you can glide out of your front door and find the artworks nearest to you.
One of the other useful features is that you can expand each little green location tag to see a photo and a short blurb about the artist and the artwork you’re interested in. So the app acts as a kind of ‘field-guide’ to the festival, giving you an extra insight into what you’re looking at, something that the paper maps and pamphlets aren’t able to cover as thoroughly. This is a great feature for art-lovers like me, who really want to get to grips with the inspirations and ideas behind all of the breathtaking light-works that Lumiere has to offer.
A feature of this app that is designed to benefit the artists themselves at Lumiere is that it offers you the opportunity to donate to Artichoke UK’s Lumiere account. As you may already know, Lumiere is free to attend and relies on the support of Artichoke UK, a registered charity, along with the generosity of sponsors. There is, however, a funding disparity for the festival and this feature will allow festival-goers the opportunity to ensure the continuity of a truly special event which brings a phenomenal atmosphere to the city.
To sum up, this app will definitely come in handy over the weekend as a pocket guide to the Festival – it’s free, much less cumbersome than a paper map (which would probably get soggy in the typical Durham drizzle) and includes relevant background information pertaining to the art on display.
How to download:
iPhones: Simply download the free app “MUSEY” in the App Store
Androids and other Smartphones: Go to www.museyapp.com and open in your browser
MUSEY are offering two competitions as part of the launch of their app:
MUSEY will give the best Instagram selfie in front of an installation with #lumieredurham @museyapp a £50 prize!
They are also running a competition amongst the Durham colleges to encourage donations from the student body. The college with the highest number of donations in proportion to its size will win a subsidy for their next Formal Dinner with free wine sponsored by MUSEY.