Monday, November 07, 2011

Information?


Ever pushing the envelope, the Brooklyn Museum has let the curator of their Indian collection explore some internet crossovers. Through 1-to-1 juxta-positions, people were asked to rank 40 Indian paintings, first after 4 seconds; then with unlimited time; then with assign- ments like counting the number of figures, identifying the main color or describing it with key words or a sentence; and then with art historical context. I'm not sure what it proved, but it generated a lot of pretty graphs and charts that sort of look like information... And, as the curator points out, while it might seem philistine to give people four seconds to rank pictures, most of us spend much less time than that each time we enter a museum gallery and decide which works to focus on. Amazing? Meh...

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