Museum as toolbox


A cooperation project between Kunsthaus Graz (Austria), Kumu Tallinn (Estonia), MSU Zagreb (Croatia), Museion Bozen (Italy) and MS Łódź (Poland)

Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

Boring, complicated and only interesting to experts? Contemporary art is often seen as exclusive and “hard to digest”, and one often wonders: what’s it got to do with me? Young people, between 15 and 25, in particular often struggle to see a connection between contemporary art and their own lives.

Translocal: Museum as Toolbox explores possibilities and paths of communication for museums. Jointly with young people, this project investigates how contemporary art museums can be more relevant to their daily lives and asks how young people themselves envisage a museum of contemporary art. For instance, how should museums present information to young people and through which channels? Finally, how can museums become interactive toolboxes which go beyond the aura of the object to make the location a socially relevant space in which themes are explored?

Five medium-sized European museums of modern and contemporary art have joined forces with the aim of working together with young people to design innovative tools. The purpose of these tools will be to open up the museum of the 21st century to its local surroundings. As many people as possible with a broad range of interests and needs will try out this toolbox, actively investigate the museum and hopefully realise that the museum is a relevant place for them! The objective is to develop a culture of communication that encourages participation because it has been designed and implemented by the target group itself, instead of simply being directed at them.

The project – working at the education, curator and artist levels – will go through a detailed research phase before developing, testing and measuring the impact of concrete communication tools for target audiences by using different approaches: ICT based/Web 2.0, peer-to-peer, cooperation actions and programmes.

Project period: 01 October 2015–30 September 2017

Official website of the project:

Project outcome:

  • Needs analysis (research, survey and good practices)
  • Development and practical testing of communication tools for target audiences (Museum APP, youth groups, and cooperation activities with local initiatives)
  • Artists’ residencies and curator visits
  • Symposium
  • Travel exhibition
  • Exhibition catalogue
  • Museum as Toolboxdocumentation
  • Website, blog and social media profile
  • Exploitation concept (including a network strategy) to directly integrate the outcomes into the European Translocal Network

Project facts:

  • Two-sided approach with target audiences to embed the museum in the local context
  • Generating interactive instruments (tools) for external and internal use
  • Creation of a platform for European museums and staff members
  • Tool collection can be seen as a pilot for future activities


  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (Croatia)
  • Museumfor Modern and Contemporary Art of Bolzano – Museion (Italy)

 Artist residency in Kumu

Kumu has lately started to pay increasing attention to youth. As of spring 2015 the museum has had a youth club, the aim of which is to plan activities by youth for youth. The initiative is supplemented wonderfully by the international project “Translocal: Museum as Toolbox”.

A part of the project is artist residencies in each participating museum, as well as visits by curators and educators. The residency at Kumu takes place 11 to 21 April 2016: we have invited the artist Luigi Coppola to work with local youngsters. Art projects created in cooperation between artists and young people will be put on display at a common exhibition, which will come to the Kumu Art Museum in the spring of 2017. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue about the project.

Luigi Coppola is an Italian artist (based in Brussels, Belgium) who works within the fields of public art and video projects. Through his research, he develops social choreographies as democratic models, participative and collaborative practices and politically motivated actions, bringing to the forefront a notion of art practice as a mise en forme of political, economic and social issues and claims. He is currently involved in a project aimed at the common reorganization of the political, agricultural and economic systems of an entire village in the south of Italy and in projects on “political chorality” in different places in Europe.

His artistic practice comes from a combination of various educational and professional experience. He has trained both as a scientist (Environmental Engineering, PhD in Risk Analysis) and as an artist (Visual and Performing Arts). His first experiences as an artist were in the field of research theatre, based on conceptual language and the construction of perceptive environments. Successively his research has moved to politically motivated actions, strategies of representation of relational mechanism and the dynamics of society.

He has created projects, performances and exhibitions in different international contexts, such as 1st Democracy Biennale, Turin (IT); Nomas Foundation, Rome; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; Teatro Valle Occupato, Rome; Wiener Festwochen Vienna; Maxxi Museum (Rome); Extra City Antwerpen (BE); Museum Madre, Naples; New Langton Art, San Francisco; Galleria Lungomare, Bolzano (in the framework of Manifesta 7 and Lungomare Gasthaus); Santarcangelo Festival, (IT); WunderderPrairie, Mannheim; and Fabbrica Europa Festival, Florence.

Find out more about Luigi Coppola at his official website:

At the same time as the artist residency, Kumu will also be visited by

Ana Škegro – Assistant Curator / Curator of the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art

Leszek Karczewski – Department of Education of the Museum of Art in Łódź

 Symposium “Museum as Toolbox”

In the framework of the project, the Kumu Art Museum will hold a one-day international symposium, “Museum as Toolbox”, on 27 August 2016, in which we will try to shed light on specific aspects of art museums initiating participatory projects, find tools for efficient communication with target audiences, share good practices on artist residencies in museums and much more.

The starting point of the exhibition Alone/Together is the eternal question of how to fit into a group while maintaining one’s individuality. This question – clearly topical in the context of present-day nation-states – is also central in art and creative work in general. How to stay true to and believe in your own ideas while being a useful member of society and understood by as many people as possible?
This exhibition has been put together in cooperation with the Kumu Youth Club, the members of which participated in the international joint project Translocal: Museum as Toolbox.