Google Art Project

One response to “Google Art Project

  1. This is really quite amazing (as a technical matter), as are all of the initiatives by Google. And because I try not to appear to be a Luddite, I hesitate to express any negative views. But since first seeing this, I can’t help shaking the idea that it misses the point of art (to put it pompously).

    Of course, the difference between seeing the art on computer and seeing it in person is the difference between a TV dinner and Lut├Ęce. I won’t even try to explain the obvious that the lighting, presentation, texture, and feeling of “authenticy” are all missing. But what’s worse, I think, is that the Google project doesn’t stack up against a good art book with quality reproductions. There is something about the size of the screen and the back lighting that deprive the thing of reality. The close-ups miss the feel for texture that even good photographs are able to convey to a great extent.

    The other problem is that the zoom feature is very gimmicky as is the virtual tour feature. The one advantage, I suppose, is that instead of being on the 3rd floor of the Met and realizing it’s going to take a half hour to get out and then you have to figure out how to get home, you can just close the Google window.

    There is of course a very high value in having art works viewable on line. There is a painting mentioned in Dostoevsky’s Idiot which I never heard of and Googled it was able to see it. (It was in an obscure Northern European museum, as I recall.) But almost every museum in the world has a Web site, and the Google search engine can find most individual pieces. So, I’m wondering, why is Google doing this? Wouldn’t a Google site with a link page to the world’s repositories of art be more valuable?


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