Wednesday, 4 April 2012
ART FOR ALL
Google's latest addition to its already impressive arsenal of abilities is http://www.googleartproject.com/ . Put basically, this gives anyone with internet access, the ability to view over 1,000 pieces of art from at present 17 major art galleries from around the globe. Being uneducated in the appreciation of the world of art, i immediately thought of the huge advantages of this facility. Think of the educational prospects for students and the average man, woman or child who can now access both classic and modern pieces of art without the costs involved. What has been traditionally thought of as an almost exclusively expensive club is now nothing of the sort. I have already read that one critic of this feels that to fully appreciate a piece of art, you must absorb the entire experience; the journey to the museum and the ambiance and atmosphere of the place of the piece's display. This may be true but if you cannot see the piece in any format to start with, you will never reach that stage. I would agree to a certain extent that this "full appreciation" can be applied to many different forms of the arts. Few would argue that to experience what a musician is trying to achieve, one would have to go to a concert. On the other hand there is certainly a time and a place that you would enjoy a particular song in a particular environment, perhaps with headphones on and with your eyes closed, taking yourself to another "place". A musical or stage play would no doubt be enhanced if you were to watch it live, but again, what drew you to go to the theatre? Reading the play yourself? Or perhaps it has been translated from another format, possibly a musical sci-fi movie (i need not suggest which!) I really enjoy going to the cinema and experiencing the big screen, loud soundtrack and appreciating that some movies have to be seen on the big screen. Although i also enjoy watching some films at home. Perhaps because i want to watch a film again that i saw at the cinema, to want to understand it more. This time perhaps being able to pause the action for various reasons. The point is that i think the "going to see the piece of art at the gallery" may be not be the be-all-and-end-all of appreciation of a piece, which was not cheap and almost impossible for some, but perhaps the final leg of one's journey. You may enjoy a piece of music, so you listen again and again and one day perhaps you think, "I want to go and hear this live." You may enjoy reading a play and want to go and see it. I recall reading the classic "An Inspector calls" by J.B Priestley and i would like to see it love on stage. You may see a trailer for a big action movie that you think would be best enjoyed at the cinema. Whilst the pieces available to view are not all the most famous, there is a huge selection which i dare say will grow when more galleries become available. Every journey has a beginning and every individual knows how they would best take their own path to enjoy and appreciate the arts. Google have just removed the blindfold of expense that was hiding art for all, and now we have the chance to see for ourselves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well done Google.