CONTEMPORARY ART INTERNET TECHNOLOGY
Since the beginning of 2011 we have looked at posts on interactive online art galleries, the possibility of 3D art catalogues and the YouTube Play project. It was only a matter of time until internet giant Google brought us an art project. But is it really useful?
Working for Google or for any large global corporation may have its pros and cons, but one thing is for certain: Google is one of the top global employers for smart young people with initiative and good ideas. Google actually draws many of its ground-breaking and revolutionary applications from allowing its staff to explore, develop and test out ideas that could one day change the way that many millions of internet users around the world will do things. And they can afford to experiment.
Virtual tours through leading museums
The Google Art Project is one of the company’s latest Internet applications. Seventeen high calibre museums from nine countries have contributed a selection of masterpieces and a Google Maps Street View-style glimpse of some of their exhibition spaces. Users move around in the same fashion as you would in Maps and, with a mouse click, are able to zoom in on selected works of art. A Visitor Guide with two videos and an FAQ-Section helps the user to move around and to make the best use of the website.
10 billion pixels: Zoom until your finger hurts
A useful feature is the Artwork View, where users can “discover featured artworks at high resolution and use the custom viewer to zoom into paintings. Expanding the info panel allows you to read more about an artwork, find more works by that artist and watch related YouTube videos.” The artworks that have been authorised for Artwork View by the museums have been scanned to a resolution of up to 10 billion pixels, which allows the user to zoom in at stunning detail.
“Create an Artwork Collection” allows the user to “to save specific views of any of the 1000+ artworks” and build a personalised collection with comments that can be addressed to each painting. And through a function characteristic of this age of real-time interaction through online social media, the entire collection can be easily shared with friends and family.
No art museums from Asia involved… yet
At this time, the museums that have joined the Google Art Project are:
- Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin – Germany
- Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC – USA
- The Frick Collection, NYC – USA
- Gemäldegalerie, Berlin – Germany
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC – USA
- MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC – USA
- Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid – Spain
- Museo Thyssen – Bornemisza, Madrid – Spain
- Museum Kampa, Prague – Czech Republic
- National Gallery, London – UK
- Palace of Versailles – France
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – The Netherlands
- The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg – Russia
- State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow – Russia
- Tate Britain, London – UK
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence – Italy
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – The Netherlands
More institutions are said to join the project soon. Click here for a link to a presentation of the Google Art Project by project leader Amit Sood.
To answer the question of what the use of Google Art Project is with the words of Sood: “This project is not about replicating the experience of visiting a museum. It is to supplement it.”
Have you tried out Google Art Project? What was your experience? Share your thoughts with us and our readers by leaving a comment below.
- 3D digital art catalogues soon a reality – TED video demonstration – September 2011 – A new android and iPad app for Al Gore’s Our Choice may be a sign of things to come
- The future of museums – short thought – May 2011 – how will a globally connected world affect museums of the future?
- Open Exhibits targets museums with free software for online exhibition – resource alert – December 2010 – tools for planning your own online exhibition
- 140 not enough: Powerhouse favours Facebook over Twitter in social media experiment – November 2010 – Ask a Curator day uses Facebook for extra interactivity
- Will Youtube become a new platform for video art? Guggenheim experiments – July 2010 – finding art in online videos
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