What is Project Ingeborg?

georgholzer edited this page Oct 29, 2012 · 14 revisions

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Klagenfurt is a town of nearly 100,000 inhabitants in the south of Austria. In and around Klagenfurt there are 100 flashy-yellow stickers which lead to digital content of artists of the region. All of them are accessible 24/7.


Unfortunately we only have a German video yet: http://youtu.be/cDUaD7Lgw84

How it works

We tried to hide the complexity from the user as best as we could. Project Ingeborg is very easy to use:

Scanning the label

  1. Just turn your NFC enabled smartphone on and hold it on the sticker or photograph the QR-code with an appropriate app.
  2. A mobile website with the artist's content will be opened.
  3. The song or e-book is just one more tap away.

Pictograms at the stickers show how easy it is to use. On modern NFC-smartphones there‘s not even an app necessary to access the content. In case there‘s an app necessary (QR or e-reader) a detailed and yet simple help page links to the respective app store.


A map on the website lists all the locations. The content changes every week (Tuesday till Tuesday).


We admit it: Our original goal was to play around with NFC and do a project like this in order to give people with new smartphones a way to try out this great technology.

But then an even better goal came up: We aim to promote artists from our region within our region with samples of their work. Links to iTunes, Amazon and local bookshops should help to increase the revenue of promoted artists. With the help of technology we also aim to inspire tech enthusiasts (like us) for consuming more art.

Viral distribution is part of the system: participating artists will be announced on our Facebook page. The more artists talk about it on their fanpages the more the popularity of the project itself increases, thus helping all succeeding artists.

Location based and exciting

Since August 1st we are promoting one local artist (musician, band, author) every week. Prior to that, we offered 70 classical books that were already in the public domain. Every book had a connection to the respecting location: So you could find Arthur Schnitzler' s "The murderer" close to the police station, William Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the lake or the children's tales of Selma Lagerlöf at a public kindergarten. This way we "tricked" people to the stickers with their curiosity. "What could be hidden here?" All this content came from the great Project Gutenberg.

Our music- and ebook-downloads are only available mobile, while pingeb.org otherwise would only be one of many websites. Besides this, an action on the side of the user is necessary thus raising the regard for the free piece of art and increasing the fun of discovering new artists.


At the start there were 70 stickers – a number with high symbolic meaning for the project. With this number we wanted to make a constructive contribute to the current discussion regarding copyright reform. Copyright vanishes 70 years after the death of an artist. This period before a piece of art gets into public domain is – in our understanding – far too long. 25 or 35 years post mortem would be far enough.

With the offer to download old classics we wanted to show what enormous treasures are hidden. During this period we recognized how many people did not even know that something like "public domain" exists. Project Ingeborg turned Klagenfurt for a whole month symbolically into a giant library. With that we wanted to draw the attention to the fact that Klagenfurt is the only bigger town in Central Europe not having its own community library.

The name of the project is a reminiscence to Ingeborg Bachmann, one of the most famous German speaking authors. She originated from Klagenfurt. The start collided with the famous Bachmann Prize - Festival of German language literature which almost guaranteed us a lot of attention for our project.

Technical implementation

We took care that – if possible – every software we used was licensed under open source in order to lower the barriers for possible imitators who want to do a project like this in their region. We use the free content management system Wordpress and developed a plugin. This plugin and a how-to-manual will be made available at the beginning of November 2012.

A rather complex URL management allows us to locate individual downloads, enabling some kind of "art analytics". We do not want to track individual users but we have an interest to know where in Klagenfurt the works of our artists are being loaded. Blobs on a map symbolize each download.


The stickers are based on plastic labels Avery L4774 which you can get for example at (Amazon) and can easily be laser printed in local print shops. Behind the label an NFC-tag is located which consists basically of a tiny chip and a relatively giant antenna. Since the electricity comes from the smartphone there is not need for an external power supply like a battery. NFC is a technology for wireless transmission of tiny bits of data developed in Austria (at NXP at Gratkorn near Graz) which currently celebrates a triumphal march at the global cellphone market.

Project partners and financing

Project Ingeborg is a non-profit project that does not have any commercial interests (e.g. sales, advertising). The project costs up until now were solely financed by the initiators. Project Ingeborg got support by STW Mobility and Spar Kärnten who offered locations. NXP supplied us with some NFC-tags. In October 2012 the Austrian Internet Foundation announced that it will fund Project Ingeborg with their nedidee-Project.

Project team

Georg Holzer (journalist & author) and Bruno Hautzenberger (software engineer)

With great support from our friends: Kerstin Rosenzopf (artwork), Verena Artinger (webdesign), Iris Wedenig (literature), Martina Brücker and Nadja Rosenzopf (models for press photographs), Daniel Gollner (video).