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Tag: art

Crowdsourcing can replace every job, including museum curation! The new “exile a piece of art” admission ticket adds interactivity to the art appreciation process!

Background:

Art museums often display a wide variety of pieces.

Some art pieces may be considered to be pretentious or otherwise without merit.

Unfortunately, currently there is no way to express that displeasure in an actionable form.

Proposal:

Art museums should sell two categories of ticket: a regular-priced general admission ticket (Figure 1), and a special “curator” ticket (Figure 2).

This “curator” ticket would cost 10 times as much as a normal ticket, but would have a special feature: it would allow the admitted individual to select any one piece of artwork in the museum to be “exiled” back to the archives and removed from display.

(It would be replaced by a randomly-chosen other piece from the museum’s not-on-display archives.)

The exiled artwork would not be eligible to be displayed again until a certain amount of time had passed (or perhaps until all the other artworks in the museum had been rotated back on display).

This has two important properties:

  • It removes the need for curation, since every gallery will become a constantly-churning disaster zone of works being semi-randomly removed from display and returned from the museum archives.
  • It allows museum visitors to actively participate in the art-appreciation process, rather than only being passive observers.

 

 

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Fig. 1: This standard museum admission ticket is utterly uninspiring. Let’s improve things (see Figure 2).

 

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Fig. 2: The “curator” ticket has a tear-off ticket stub (shown at far right) that can be put in a pocket next to any artwork that the museum-goer wishes to remove from display. Once a day, museum employees will go through the museum and remove any artwork with an “exile” ticket associated with it. That “exiled” artwork will be replaced by a randomly-chosen piece of similar dimensions from the archives.

Conclusion:

This new “crowdsourced” approach to curation can be applied to museums of all types—not just art museums.

PROS: Adds interactivity to art museums and helps museums raise funds. Leverages the “wisdom of the crowds.”

CONS: Some jerk with extra money to spend might just go to the museum every day and exile their favorite art pieces to prevent others from enjoying them.

TITLE: The secret to making THE BEST ART MUSEUM possible and acquiring a collection for less than 1% the normal price of famous art. The secret ingredient: ART FORGERY.

The issue:

It’s difficult to fully appreciate certain types of art from just a photo, especially large pieces or three-dimensional works like statues.

For example:

Unfortunately, these famous works are spread throughout the world, and are not all easy to access (especially if you’re on a budget).

Proposal:

Let’s start a new art museum called “THE BEST ART MUSEUM.”

This is no idle boast—the museum really will contain the best art in the world, for one simple reason: all the art in the museum is a FAKE.

Actually, let’s revise that: “fake” has a negative connotation, but really, who can even tell the difference between an original work and a high-quality forgery? (See Figure 1.)

So let’s say that each piece in this museum is an extremely accurate copy of a famous work.

Fig. 1: Which of these two incredibly accurately drawn M.C. Escher works is the original, and which is the copy? Only the most detail-oriented art historian will be able to tell. And sometimes there isn’t even a distinction: if 100 numbered prints were made from a carved wood block, is there anything that really separates those 100 “official” prints from a 101st print made by museum staff decades later? (Answer: yes, millions of dollars.)

Since the vast majority of art is old enough to be out of copyright, there are no legal hurdles, either!

Additionally, we know that a skillfully-made forgery can fool even well-informed art scholars, so there should be no doubt that the works are every bit as valid from an art-appreciation standpoint as the originals.

This has five huge advantages:

  1. By obtaining only copies of expensive artwork, we free up an enormous amount of money (copies will be cheaper than the originals).
  2. Impossible-to-obtain works of art can be “acquired” in this fashion. (No matter how much money a museum has, the original Sistine Chapel ceiling cannot be purchased.)
  3. Works can be thematically arranged without regard to budget / availability of an artwork.
  4. Duplicate (triplicate?) copies of a work can be placed in multiple locations. So Michelangelo’s David can appear in both the “statues of dudes” and the “Renaissance sculpture” galleries.
  5. Security and insurance can be reduced; there is no need to insure a painting for hundreds of millions of dollars if it can be easily re-created.

Additionally, since none of the pieces in the museum are one-of-a-kind, they can also be offered for sale: the museum can serve as an enormous art showroom. So an art aficionado who really likes a specific painting can just take it right off the wall and purchase it at the gift shop.

Fig. 2: Modern art and abstract impressionism would be a great topic for this museum, except that most of the pieces from 20th century will be copyrighted for the next 100+ years. The museum will need to focus primarily on art from before the 1920s.

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Fig. 3: Abstract art would be extremely easy to replicate; an art student could easily copy several famous out-of-copyright pieces during a summer internship.

PROS: Obtaining famous works of art for a museum no longer requires daring art heists.

CONS: You will have to endure many negative reviews of your museum in high-society publications.

Rearrange your no-doubt-extensive home art gallery according to these curation principles.

Background:

Art galleries are generally arranged by either genre (for example, “portraits” or “landscapes”) or a period in history (e.g. “Renaissance Italy, 1350–1500”).

The issue:

This traditional organizational scheme results in dozens of similar works in close proximity, which leads to the following problem: after a person has seen ten masterpiece portraits of Venetian nobles, an eleventh one is not going to make an impression.

All the pieces all start to look the same!

Proposal:

As an alternative to period- or genre-based organization, artwork may be grouped together by either:

  1. Color (Example: a gallery of only red paintings, from various artistic periods.)
  2. Very specific subject matter (Example: a gallery of only paintings of horses, from across thousands of years.)

art-by-color-or-subject

Fig 1: In this example, the paintings are all mostly red, but the left painting is a work of abstract art, the middle one is a French Impressionist painting, and the right one is a piece of propaganda art. As you can no doubt clearly tell from these masterful illustrations.

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Fig 2: An example of what this might look like with art from different eras that just happen to have a reddish hue. These would all go in a gallery together, despite the unrelated subjects and time periods.

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Fig 3: An example of similar subject matter over thousands of years.

Conclusion:

By varying the art style, viewers of these fine pieces of art will take longer to become acclimated to a specific technique and era, so they will continue to appreciate each new piece on its own rather than becoming instantly bored with it (having already seen 15 similar paintings).

art-by-period-and-genre

Fig 4: As seen here, sometimes this organizational scheme would not actually change anything. For example, these landscape paintings all have approximately the same subject matter and coloration, so they wouldn’t be separated out by a color / subject classification scheme, and will be grouped together no matter what.

PROS: None! You should rearrange your art museum like this—right now!

CONS: It’s so good that it will probably put curators out of business, since they’ll have nothing left to do once the paintings are arranged in this fashion.

Your lack of art appreciation has brought shame to the land. Redeem yourself with this one weird sponsorship trick.

The issue:

The fine arts constantly struggle for funding, perhaps due to their general inability to compete with modern sources of entertainment.

Proposal:

In art museums, commercial sponsorship could take the form of (non-destructive) modification to the works of art themselves. For example, the Mona Lisa could be holding an iPhone (an idea which has been done before: https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=mona+lisa+iphone), or one could spot a Radio Shack in the nightmarish hellscape of Hieronymus Bosch’s Hell (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Mad_meg.jpg).

For flat artwork, sponsorship images could easily be added by using a glass overlay with the desired promotional material painted on. See below for details:

art-sponsor-layout

Fig 1: A clear overlay (perhaps a piece of glass, or an animation cel) would be slid over the piece of artwork in question. In this example, “The Scream” is modified to be chomping on a delicious hamburger. Perhaps this particular overlay would be a McDonalds ad, which might encourage Burger King to buy a competing overlay for another famous painting at the same museum.

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Fig 2: Side view of the above image: A is the clear overlay, B is the painting.

One weird secret that sphinxes don't want YOU to know!!! Theseus hates this riddle!

One weird secret that sphinxes don’t want YOU to know!!! Theseus hates this riddle!

Conclusion:

This is a great idea and you (assuming you are a museum director or curator) should apply it right away!

PROS: Saves fine art from destruction, brings more visitors to art museums.

CONS: Could make regular non-sponsored museums seem boring in comparison.