Live v Online.

In General Mish-Mash on June 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Yesterday in The Sydney Morning Herald’s supplement, Spectrum, there was an article on the online consumption of cultural events. Five critics took a look at how viewing events online compares with live attendance.

The critics looked at Art, Opera, Theatre, Ballet, & Pop.

In their opinion, live consumption is better – although they point at some compelling benefits in being an online attendee.

The possibilities for consumption of events online are clearly quite profound.

A superb example is the Google Art Project. It provides access to some of the world’s most renowned galleries and a very close look at a large number of works of art and antiquities.

Take a look at the texture in van Gogh’s The Starry Night, located in the MoMA, New York.

Or this piece from London’s Tate GalleryNo Woman, No Cry by Chris Ofili.

No Woman No Cry - Chris Ofili

This site could keep you occupied for a very long time.

But despite the detail – both visual and commentary detail – there are some quite telling drawbacks. The works are not in context, you don’t get any sense of dimension, and so the viewer remains distant from the work despite being able to magnify the view in a way not possible in the gallery context.

This image gives you a sense of the dimension of No Woman No Cry.

No Woman No Cry at Tate Gallery, London (The Guardian)

How do you balance this situation of being virtually inside a work of art, yet distant from it? The relationship becomes clinical & academic – similar to observing a drop of your blood under a microscope. Nevertheless, the value of an online gallery – or, in the case of the Google Art Project, a gallery of galleries – is not diminished. (Nor, by the way, is value of your blood diminished by the clinical high magnification.)

I have not experienced online live events of Opera, Theatre, Ballet or Contemporary Music. The Spectrum article certainly alludes to similar benefits of detail and drawbacks of distance & intervention.

Rest assured, such events will become more popular, more available, and more prevalent.

What about comedy?

Well, this Friday you could experience live comedy streamed live. Rooty Hill RSL has comedy icon Jerry Lewis appearing in a sold out show. For $5 you can watch the performance streamed live.

Your $5 goes to the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation and is tax deductible. Sounds like a good deal – get live comedy from a living legend while helping a good cause and having the ATO reimburse you.

Here’s the link if you are interested – Jerry Lewis & Muscular Dystrophy.

By the way, I didn’t mean to drop into marketing mode and I have no relationship at all with Rooty Hill RSL, Jerry Lewis, or the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation – I just thought it was relevant and innovative for a NSW Club.

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