So much of the press and discussion around the Google Art Project has focused on comparing the experience of the virtual gallery with the real, in-person experience. The question seems to be, will the Google Art Project replace or somehow despoil the experience of the museum visit? But I think this commentary overlooks an important part of the Google Art Project: the way it allows users to—in a way—remix and share their experience of so many great works of art.
Posts by Beth Harris
At the beginning of the video on the painting techniques of Barnett Newman that we produced for MoMA’s Abstract Expressionist New York iPad app (and the exhibition’s website), Corey D’Augustine, a conservator and instructor of the on-site and online course Materials and Techniques of Postwar Abstract Painting tells this story:
In one of the videos we produced for the current Abstract Expressionist New York exhibition, Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture and the organizer of the exhibition, tells this story about Jackson Pollock:
MoMA’s Education Department prides itself on crafting personal experiences with works of art for our visitors. In exploring new ways to enhance these experiences, we were surprised to find that video has a remarkable ability to help us focus our gaze in a way that is often very difficult to do in the galleries. It might seem like a strange concept—that looking at a work of art on your computer screen would help you to look and think about art more deeply—but this is precisely what we discovered as we developed two online courses over the last year.
Linda Nochlin’s groundbreaking essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” was published in 1971, but more than fifteen years later, when I attended graduate school at the Graduate Center, CUNY, a second wave of important feminist contributions to the discipline appeared.
As Director of Digital Learning, I might just have the best job in the world. Take today as an example. At 10:00 a.m., I reviewed video for an online studio course about the materials and techniques of Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Barnett Newman (among others) that my coworker Amy Horschak and I hope to run this summer (it is being developed by Corey d’Augustine). At 2:00, I brainstormed with colleagues about new content for the blog. At 5:00, I attended an exhibition opening for the Education department’s CreateAbility class, a monthly program for individuals with learning and developmental disabilities and their families. I brought in the camera just in time to hear parents talk about how meaningful the class was for their children. (We’ll be adding the video to the Learn section of the site, which is being updated later this spring.) By 7:00 I was watching a program organized by my colleagues Laura Beiles and Pablo Helguera: the artist William Kentridge on stage in Theater 1, performing I am not me, the horse is not mine.
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