Walkthrough of Google Arts and Culture App

I used my Samsung Galaxy tablet to install Google’s Arts and Culture App.

Having mixed feelings about Google, I try not to use their services too much. This app however, did suprise me, despite the initial impression of art hangings in the hallways of an expensive hotel sor a modern hospitals; anodydne, avoiding any uncessesary or embarrasing subjects that cater for  well heeled international tourists or a bored business traveller who has already read the in-flight magazine twice already.

Digging deeper, it offered me the promise of notifications (weekly) – I had to trade in my privacy again, offering my location and almost certainly logging the items I choose to look at.

Lets get some of the screenshots as I  installed and ventured into the app:

The iconic Classic Greek with its cartoon, dumbed down aspect of the Golden mean, now reduced to a fast food logo.

1 million downloads! In Play Store, 3.8 approval rating from 17,862 people. Classified under Education – similar apps are all Google apps! Not very good classification in the Play store and quite a few negative comments. 3,713 one star and 10,271 five star.

“pretty disappointed because of the region lock and lack of proper communication about it. Have been checking every day hoping it would be unlocked, hopoefully soon. Also it would be cool if you could save articles you like to go back and download photos like so many other art/history museum archives are letting you do now days (sic).”

“region locking a feature like that makes no damn sense… “ etc

Looks like you need a VPN…

Also, what about taking screenshots, like I did??

`however, I was viewing features on art in Japan and the US…


The red greek temple logo shows collections you can open and visit in the app, the orange dots are venues with opening times and a Google map.

Allow Google to track your location??

Collections are grouped under subject or theme..

Zoom into a Google – approved artist

Who decides what to put there? Is this paid for by the exhibitior/curator, if it is how does this allow smaller more innovative galleries to show themselves. All very “gallery-system”

Korean artist, good, I have found some new material..

English heritage, very counter culture!

Fodder for the tourists…

I liked the experimental section, this already exists on anothe Google site. Good material buried under ‘tourist’. This was lumped in with the English Heritage material.

The nice feature I found in this app was that certain galleries provide a Google street view style walk through of the gallery interior, For example, the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum:

The Japanese text was in Kanji. Naturally Google offer G. translate…

Walk round the gallery…

and every nook and cranny

Intended audience, mostly visitors to a country – London has 52 collections located on the App’s Google map. This is a useful resource. However, as a means of exploring and researching foreign collections, it is somewhat limited.

The fairly mainstream and ‘establishment;’ slant does not go far enough to push any boundaries in the creative arts but it is not really desgned to do this. It is a glorified guide book.

In terms of ANT – the app will definitely inform the interested art hunter and perhaps alter their approach to exploring the gallery world. In turn another effect of the non human network effect is to facilitate sharing a users likes and islikes, like in so many other apps.

I am uncertain as to the extent that the app will alter its presentation to each user, as like in all apps, the internal workings are hidden. If the app knows the exact identity of each user then it would be more practical to achieve.

As to what the metadata generated might be used for, it is uncertain; there is no obligation to reveal your identity as such, requiring a password to enter etc. I am in no doubt that Google knows enough about you to identify you as you as a user almost certainly have provided login information identifying you with other sister Google apps.

The fairly mainstream and ‘establishment;’ slant does not go far enough to push any boundaries in the creative arts but it is not really designed to do this. It is a glorified guide book.

A few hidden treats offer the oportunity to roam around some of the collections, perhaps more could be provided.

The opportunity to share ‘liked’ items persists throughout, this is perhaps the only networked aspect of the app. The subject matter is not conducive to extend in this way much.

A couple more locations, first Thailand – the imagery really is repulsive, sorry!

I wonder how well these would sell at the Frieze? Art collectors? Oligarchs?

Another feature, zoom!

One of the few featured collections shown on the App in London, I love visiting here…

Moma, good

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