Tuesday, March 3, 2009


No reply from Sheelia Deegan (Limerick City Arts Office) yet. The Turn-Berlin gallery replied today, I will give my colleagues the info tomorrow.

Name: Richard

FYP Option: Thesis

Choice of tutor: David Brancaleone

Description of project

Art galleries/Museums have been the usual means by which artists exhibit their work for all to see. With the use of modern technology, many artists and galleries are choosing to display their artworks in cyberworld,1 by means of various artist websites, and gallery websites, including virtual art galleries.
In this thesis I aim to make an inquiry as to whether this will ultimately lead to the demise of the art gallery/museum as an institution, and also to the way we view art.

Context of Project

Historically, the art gallery institution has remained relatively unchanged for many years. Initially it was designed as a place where people could go to marvel at the wondrous works of the artist, the artist being endowed with marvelous awe inspiring, divine like talents. The upper echelons of society would have been the forefathers of the gallery, only they would have been supposedly educated and enlightened enough to appreciate the works of art, or indeed have the leisure time to visit such institutions. Even today, there still seems to be a certain kind of snobbery associated with galleries; closed circuit television watching everything, and the stewards watching everything the cameras miss. There appears to be a secret kind of etiquette when visiting galleries also, silence seems to be observed, even when there is no requirement to do so, the flow of people appears to go in an ordered, rather than random way.
In cyberworld however, there are no unspoken rules of etiquette, there are no class distinctions, even the technology used today has become affordable for almost all walks of life. There is a generation now then, that has been reared with this technology since childhood; play stations, x boxes, mobile phones, I pods, mp3's, cgi's etc. They have face book, my space, bebo, blogspots, so for actually going to see artworks in real life galleries, why would they even bother? When their own reality is primarily based in cyberworld.

Research Sources

I will use theory based books to research the sociological, historical and cultural aspects of galleries, ie, Art in Theory, Modern Art Criticism, Museum theory; Pierre Bordieu. I will look at what individual artists have to say regarding the gallery; Hans Haake etc. I will research writers such as Bruce Altshuler (collecting the new), Andrew Mc Cllellan (Art and its publics, museum studies at the millennium), Emma Barker (Contemporary cultures of display). Another book which I believe will be of good use is: what do you expect from an art institution in the 21st century by various contributors. I will have to investigate the web for comments and writings on virtual art galleries; Wilson web, Google scholar, Ebrary etc.

Work plan

The first part of the project will be to gain a brief overview of museum theory, I will have to research several writers to gain an understanding of the methodologies, social implications and theoretical constructs of galleries/museum's.
The second part of the project would probably involve selecting the precise theme or line of inquiry that I would expect to be concentrating my efforts on, eg from the general to the specific. I would also expect to research modern museum practices, with special emphasis on theory relating to contemporary issues.
At this stage, I will take an in depth look into cyberworld art practices; virtual galleries etc. The final part of the project would probably consist of a consideration of all the research, and a summing up of same. As a proponent of cyberworld technology, I would like to make a DVD, incorporating aspects of my thesis, IE images, a virtual gallery etc.
1For the purpose of this proposal, I choose to use the term cyberworld to mean the world of cyberspace. For me, the term seems more appropriate than cyberspace.

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