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E MUSEUMS & THE GOOGLE ART PROJECT – A RECORD OF US

F.1u.010 T.11 U.01 r. 101 e.00

F.1u.010 T.11 U.01 r. 101 e.00

New Post goes up every Wednesday at 8:30PM EST

40,000 YEARS IN TIME

Some 40,000 years ago, humans began painting on the walls of caves. For more on this, see The Purpose page. Did they know they were they creating a record for the future? The question challenges our preconceptions of the intelligence of humans 40,000 years ago.

Now, imagine it is 40,000 years from now, in the year 40,2012. Do you think that who or what, if anything, may exist at that time would ask the same question about us: Did humans around the year 2,000 know that they were creating a record for the future? This question, in 40,2012, may well challenge their preconceptions of the intelligence of humans 40,000 years in their past.

In no small way, this record for the future is what the greatly expanded Google Art Project, and the e-museums, have accomplished. It may well be one of the most extraordinary legacies of our time.

The Google Art Project now includes 151 museums from around the world, including India, Hong Kong, and 34,000 pieces of art.

Here is a day at the newly added Musée d’Orsay. The Art Project is in addition to the museums’ individual sites.

By 40,2012, this digital record may be all that’s left. (By that time, all of the great pictures painted on canvas would most likely have returned to dust.) You can just imagine future anthropologists and historians stating their expert opinions that all of “our” art was digital. How quaint.

What will they make of Ophelia? Will they ever connect her with Shakespeare, or compare her to Picasso’s Girl with a Boat?

Listen to what Amit Sood, the head of the Google Art Project, said about the Project, its origins and goals:

A PARTING THOUGHT
If there is no “intelligent life” then, this digital record of us will be sitting there, in some caves, on dormant servers, “in a place where there’s no space and time.” (Leon Russell, A Song For You.) Thanks Leon.

Read More:
Roberta Smith has written an excellent description of the Project. See also these links from her article: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, Smart History, and NGA classroom.

Also this article in the Times of India.

Here is an article from NASA about the “Golden Record” placed aboard Voyagers I and II to be viewed by “others” 40,000 years from now.

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2 comments on “E MUSEUMS & THE GOOGLE ART PROJECT – A RECORD OF US

  1. Great piece. I love the Leon Russell tie in!

  2. […] blog contains a post on the magnificent Google Art Project with the cooperation of now 151 museums to bring art to you, and closer than you can ever get in a […]

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