Thursday, February 3, 2011

Google Art Project

So the art world is making huge step with the new Google Art Project. Google is using it's street view technology and finally bringing it inside for the first time. 17 different museums are included in this project, London's Tate, New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) and also Metropolitan Museum. The new technology allows people to virtually tour the museums and even look at one of the 1,060 pieces art work close up. The museums have selected paintings to be photographed using gigapixel technology at a resolution of over 14 billion pixels, so you can see everything on the painting. This is phenomenal, it is opening up so many doors to many new viewers and the museums have said that it is actually bringing in more people because after viewing it online, they want to see the real thing. Since this is the case, people all over the world can experience fine art and hopefully go see the real thing. I think museums will greatly benefit from this.
I just took a virtual tour of the MoMA and I must say, I am blown away by this technology. It definitely urges me to go to the actual museum more though. I mean the quality of this is great, but now that I know what is inside, I would like to experience it up close and personal. I also took a look at the new gigapixel technology and looked at Vincent van Gogh's, "The Starry Night" and I can see everything down to the texture of the paint, to the strokes and colors he mixed. This new technology will definitely increase the popularity of the museums. I think they will all benefit from this very much.


Lindsay said...

kern said...

Ok first, I'm a little creeped out because probably two hours before I posted about this on our faculty blog.

Anyways, some people would think that putting this online would reduce the demand for people actually going to the museums. You are arguing that viewing this actually made your desire to attend the physical museum go up. This sounds similar to the argument that releasing some music for free will lead to the demand for the rest of an artists' catalog to go up.

Do you think that the internet is leading to a change in how we market products or do you think that the value of intellectual property is decreasing? As an artist what is your stance on this for your future?

Lindsay said...

-Great minds think alike, Kern.

Well the internet is definitely changing how we market products. It has holds so many different marketing opportunities and it is a way of marketing that will get to almost everyone, not just a few people who happen to look at the billboard on the highway. When on the internet people are focused, people are reading, they are usually doing something that they are interested in and technology is so advanced now that it can be made so that the advertisements you see, will be related to your life or helpful to you.

In order to form an opinion about the value of intellectual property decreasing, you have to decide whether or not you want people to be aware of these ideas or thoughts. If you want somebody to know your ideas and what you’re thinking and you post it on the internet, then the value of intellectual property is not decreasing, people want to spread ideas now days and it seems as if it only makes them more popular and gets their word out. I can see how some people may think that the value of intellectual property is decreasing since our thoughts are all over the World Wide Web, but I think it is a great thing. Getting our ideas out to the world is only making change easier, and I think it is leading to more "doing." In order for intellectual property to decrease, you would have to be selfish with the thoughts and if you were to be so selfish with the thoughts or things, then they wouldn't or shouldn't be on the internet for people to see.

That being said, I think the Google Art Project is an amazing step in technology for the art world. I would love to know that people would be willing to even take a virtual tour of a museum of my work (if I had one). I think as a young artist, it gives us more opportunity, it allows us a better chance to really make it big. Putting ourselves on the internet allows people that wouldn't normally see our work to experience it, which only makes us more popular, which is what every artist strives for. Tons of people put their work on sites like DeviantArt so they can be seen and be known to people outside of their community. I am thrilled to have opportunities like this in my future. I feel like spreading my ideas has never been easier.

Smith said...

"I think as a young artist, it gives us more opportunity, it allows us a better chance to really make it big. Putting ourselves on the internet allows people that wouldn't normally see our work to experience it, ..."

This is one of the points of this blog!!!!!

kern said...

Lindsay, I LOVE your response. I think it demonstrates a significant shift in thinking with your generation. However, since this blog is about economics I want to push you to explain how it works economically.

While I understand it "is one of the points of this blog!!!!!", what I am trying to get at is how do you monetize your craft?

If I can go to deviant art to see your work or go to the Google Art Project to see Van Gogh will it hurt the profit? Speak to it in terms of supply and demand.

As a budding artist, how do you envision making money if I can see your art for free and even download it to my computer?

Curt said...

I was curious if the museums might consider charging money for people to take the online tours. It seems like people are getting almost the real experience without having to pay any money. It seems almost too good to be true. Do you think it's a possibility in the future that the museums may charge people to view the artwork online?

Connor said...

I really liked Curts comment because i agree with his comment that people might start paying for the ability to see the art online. If they just see one picture from the whole museum then i dont see how the profits would go down for the museums. It reminds me of the little 30 second preview you get when you want to buy an iTunes song. You get the little bit which can push someone over the fence to buy the whole song, or as in this article to go see more of the paintings and art in the museums.

Alissa said...

I, too agree with both Connor and Curt. If they began to charge people to view these museums they would definitely benefit economically. Also another key factor would be to maybe set the online museum up to where viewers could download the images, sort of like an iTunes sort of thing. This way, google will be able to charge for the downloads and/or the viewing of these great works of art. The fact that many people enjoy art, and will be willing to pay for it online instead of traveling to that location will benefit google. The convenience of it being online will appeal to many art lovers.

Lindsay said...

A person who truly loves art would not settle just with an online tour of a museum. The museums and Google could be making money from this, but I think it is a great way to advertise. Like I said before, when I did the tour it made me actually want to go to the museum more because I wasn't satisfied with the online tour. You get to see the same things online, but you don't get to really experience it. Like Connor said, it's like the sample of the song on iTunes. That clip of the song could make you want to buy it or not. I feel like this is really similar to that.
In the long run, I think the museums will become all together more popular, so the demand for tickets will go up and the museums will benefit from it greatly. While they could be making money from a virtual tour, it wouldn't cost as much as a real museum ticket. I think this is just a great way to advertise and it urges people to go to the museums more because it leaves you unsatisfied. If more people start going to the museums then museums will also start making more money from their souvenir shops, and even their restaurants. More people in the museums means they will spend more money there.

kern said...

Great discussion. I like the comparison to an advertisement. In the end these museums in effect are getting free advertising from Google and a lot of publicity that usually they would not get. The fact that it is free also leads to more people viewing it and thus more advertising which in the end may lead to more money as Lindsay points out. Here is yet another article on the project