Daily Bulletin


News

  • Written by Caroline Wilson-Barnao, Lecturer, The University of Queensland

As the coronavirus outbreak forces the closure of museums, art galleries, libraries and theatres around the word, the concept of “on demand culture” is gaining momentum.

Institutions – museums, galleries and concert halls, which by their very nature rely on in-person visits – are seeking out digital solutions in the form of live-streamed performances, virtual tours and searches of online collections. The Sydney Biennale announced a shift to digital display this week and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has streamed a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony to a live audience that peaked at 4500 and gathered thousands of subsequent viewers.

The current pandemic is dragging cultural institutions into the 21st century, forcing them to catch up with technological solutions to replace on-site experiences. But many institutions are already well down this path. They have already found the shift online has benefits and dangers.

When one door closes, open a window - 14 sites with great free art Wandering Netherlands’ Museum Voorlinden will have to wait. Christian Fregnan/Unsplash, CC BY

Crossing technical boundaries

From as early as the 1920s, museums have been using the technologies of the day. Back then, it was presenting public lectures on broadcast radio.

From the early to mid-1950s, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology collaborated with CBS to produce What in the World, a program that presented storeroom objects to a panel of industry specialists who had to figure out what in the world the objects were and who made them.

A more recent turn is towards cultural institutions partnering with digital media organisations to deliver access to mediated cultural content. Google Arts & Culture, a digital platform, makes the collections of over 12,000 museums available online. Web portal Europeana, created by the European Union, hosts over 3,000 museums and libraries.

When one door closes, open a window - 14 sites with great free art You can visit The British Museum via Google Arts & Culture. Nicolas Lysandrou/Unsplash, CC BY

Well before the coronavirus closed ticket desks and moved some experiences onto digital media platforms, virtual gateways had become an important means of generating awareness and engagement with culture.

Anne Frank House has illustrated how online visitors can take part in holocaust remembrance without travelling to Amsterdam. Anne Frank House now uses a chatbot to create personalised conversations with users globally via Facebook messenger. Similarly, Eva.Stories is an Instagram page that recounts, via a series of 15 second videos, the diary of a 13-year-old girl killed in a concentration camp.

Doors shut

The forced closures as a result of coronavirus will accelerate and amplify this shift towards digital transformation.

At a time of social distancing, individual artists, small private companies and major public cultural institutions are quickly re-purposing technology in creative ways.

Morning Melodies is an online broadcast of the usually popular live performances offered by the Victoria Arts Centre.

Isol-Aid live streamed a music festival over the weekend, with 72 musicians across Australia each playing a 20-minute set on Instagram.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image has set up an online weekly film nights, while acknowledging it “can’t replace the joy of being in the cinema”.

When one door closes, open a window - 14 sites with great free art Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum has opened its doors online. Ståle Grut/Unsplash, CC BY

What might be lost

Despite the benefits of this mediated content, social media scholars Jose Van Dijck and Thomas Poell point out digital technologies come with a set of core logics or rules that shape users, economic structures and institutions. These underlying rules of online engagement have long-term implications for how we engage with culture. For future generations, it’s conceivable that a visit to the library, museum, theatre or art gallery won’t be something experienced in person but rather through a digital media platform.

With the “on demand culture” comes a dispersal of audiences into online spaces. In those spaces, their private contemplation of art and culture can become fodder for data mining and analysis.

This data then feeds into the repurposing of cultural content according to the priorities of social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. In 2018, Google Culture launched a face match app that matched user selfies to images drawn from cultural collections. It expanded access for new global audiences, but questions remain about the extent to which phone camera images were used to train Google’s facial recognition algorithm. Some users were critical of the collection’s lack of diversity.

The mediation of culture highlights a new set of ethical dilemmas as content goes online.

What we gain

This isn’t to say the availability of “on demand” cultural content isn’t a good thing. At “normal” times it can allow people to virtually visit exhibitions or enjoy performances they can’t access in real life. Online presentations can enhance understanding with “explore more” links or additional information.

During times of crisis, online cultural experiences can be a lifeline for both art audiences and creators. It is vital that we create avenues through which the community can access culture and seek out technological solutions to keep artists and cultural workers employed during what could be a long hiatus.

14 art & culture links

Authors: Caroline Wilson-Barnao, Lecturer, The University of Queensland

Read more https://theconversation.com/when-one-door-closes-open-a-window-14-sites-with-great-free-art-134153

Writers Wanted

Planning a road trip in a pandemic? 11 tips for before you leave, on the road and when you arrive

arrow_forward

Biden's cabinet picks are globally respected, but one obstacle remains for the US to 'lead the world' again

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Business News

Nisbets’ Collab with The Lobby is Showing the Sexy Side of Hospitality Supply

Hospitality supply services might not immediately make you think ‘sexy’. But when a barkeep in a moodily lit bar holds up the perfectly formed juniper gin balloon or catches the light in the edg...

The Atticism - avatar The Atticism

Buy Instagram Followers And Likes Now

Do you like to buy followers on Instagram? Just give a simple Google search on the internet, and there will be an abounding of seeking outcomes full of businesses offering such services. But, th...

News Co - avatar News Co

Cybersecurity data means nothing to business leaders without context

Top business leaders are starting to realise the widespread impact a cyberattack can have on a business. Unfortunately, according to a study by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Tenable, some...

Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable - avatar Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion