Artwork is originally used to record human’s daily life. At first, our ancestors can only draw some rough symbols on the rock, such as animals, sun, and tree. Later, they create paper, pen, and pigments. With the help of the equipment, they begin to explore different ways to record their life and thoughts. The idea of genre appears. We have realism, impressionism, and even cubism. The definition of artwork is no longer limited to oil on canvas and/or sculpture. People can present an art idea with a combination of different materials. More than that, artists now can work with digital display to present art.
Although we now have multiple forms of art, the nature of art essentially is to preserve a piece of memory and to convey a message. No matter the artwork is presented on what kind of interface: two dimensional paper, three dimensional space (museum), and virtual plane (digital screen), all the elements of one artwork are served for the piece of memory and/or message.
The museum idea allows people to consider thousands of art pieces together as a whole, beside just talking about individual artwork. Nancy Proctor mentions that Google art offers high resolution image for art pieces. These reproductions are allowed to take a close-up look and/or a distance of visual depth. Users no longer need to spend time on commuting, and everyone who owns Internet and a device can see the art pieces. Google art is definitely one of the conveniences Internet brings to us.
However, Google art cannot afford us everything. For example, the exhibition, Pulse, we experienced in Hirshhorn Museum cannot be presented on that. Although people can take a video for the human computer interaction and let users know what the exhibition is, however, the video cannot be seen as an art work, especially for this exhibition and other installation art. Indeed, the unique interaction between the installation and “you” creates a piece of memory, and “you” derive your own understanding about the exhibition. This piece of memory and the understanding are the meaning of art, which cannot be provided by an online video.
Although Google art cannot help us have a real interaction with some kinds of art, nonetheless, future technology might make us reach that. It might be the fact that someday in the future, we can touch the screen in remote space. And time will tell us.