Monday, August 5, 2013

The Google Art Project Experiment: Groping Around in Gigapixel Land

In Google Art Project , each partner institution has to submit  the image  of  an artwork in
one gigapixel resolution.  This allows the viewer to zoom on and on to the heart’s content, reaching
out to the essence or stumbling upon the warts.  Depending on how committed you are to this
zoomathon (and how sturdy your browser is; mine kept crashing) it will be either a blind man
groping an elephant or a journey to the centre of the masterpiece, or a bit of both.

But one thing will happen for certain. Every work of art will turn abstract (or into higher levels of
abstractions) and suddenly you are in another dimension with your zoom -print screen-crop tool
looking for a slice that deserves its sovereign status as a work of art.   Modiglianis turn into Pollocks,
Holbeins turn into Seurats, and Seurats turn into satellite views of earth.  And you, with a humble
keyboard, have made that happen. 

Here is a selection of original images and their choicest crops from full gigapixel zoom.

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