Thursday, February 03, 2011

Google Art Project and grudges

No doubt I'm way down on the list of hearing about the Google Art Project, but at least I'm not like one commenter on the videos relating to the Project who said that now Google was taking over the art galleries!

As another wisely pointed out, many people don't have access to these galleries; they're on the other side of the world, and even if you wanted to visit the Uffizi, for instance, you have to wait in a queue for hours. By which time you're exhausted and don't have the energy to spend time with the art. (We waited in the queue for around a half an hour and then decided there were better ways to spend our limited time, went down the road, and found a superb gallery with hardly anyone in it!)

It's never going to be the same experience as standing in front of the original - no more than the Google street photographs are the same as the reality of standing outside a real house - but there are advantages. Access is great, for starters; you can go in really close on the paintings and see the detail not in a fuzzy way, but as clearly as you can see the whole thing. This is something I'm really appreciating. When you look at an art work in a book, for instance, you can't get any closer than the page and your eye's focus will allow. Consequently, details are out of your range.

The colours are superb as well, and the range of galleries is beyond belief. What is there not to appreciate about the Art Project. Good old Google, I say.

Check out the videos on the site, too, particularly the behind the scenes one which shows the photographers capturing the works digitally, cycling, in some cases, around the laminate floors in order to give you a sense of actually walking through these museums.

As I said above, there are always the grumblers. Here's one commenting on this particular video: Google lack any ingenuity or creativity of their own and either buy or steal intellectual property to compensate for their lack of creative vision. This project is a strong example of them stealing from me after presenting the idea to Google Ventures. It's not just myself who have an aversion to Google. Groupon told them to shoveit after being offered $6 billion and Path denied them after googled offered $100 million. There are stealth groups in SV who want to see google fall..

Hmm. Groupon and Path turned down $160 million between them. Some people must have grudges.

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