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On the Screen of the Beholder
Arts, Creative

On the Screen of the Beholder 

Old paintings by famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Michelangelo are timeless. What is not? Generation, digitalisation, and perception. As technology is disruptive in many aspects of the world, art is also affected by the changing trends. How will art be appreciated in the coming years and what of the museums as heritage keepers of the world?

Generation of Technology


The millennials are the beholders. They can be physical or visual visitors and art is known to have the ability to evoke a sense of time and feelings, regardless of dimension.

Former chief digital officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of New York City, Sreenath Sreevinasan stated that millennials are “people who are very keen to connect and interact in different ways. They want more information, at a quick pace, in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, most museums are just not ready for that.” Which is why he created ‘The Met’ app with his team for the new generation.

They have to find new ways to engage and connect with their audiences and build relationships by assimilating technology into an art piece, providing them with a whole new experience in appreciating art, even if it is via a screen and sound.

Digitalisation of Art


Art is made available for online viewing through devices such as virtual reality headgear or with a 360-degree view from the screen of your devices. Many disagree by saying that watching via a phone screen and not through the naked eyes defeats the purpose of appreciating art.

However, an exhibition named Court of Versailles held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, catered to these evolving demands by providing them headsets for a more binaural experience. Gillian Tett, a visitor to the exhibition wrote in her article that it seemed boring because once she took off the headset, all that was in front of her was nothing but a mere painting from the past.

Other museums such as the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London offers its visitors 3D images of galleries and 3D soundscapes as an audio experience to mimic the 17th and 18th-century visitors as art is now not only seen through the eyes but also through your ears and with your heart.

Perception of the beholder


Infinity Mirrors and the Museum of Ice Cream are two museums that are known “to render well in 2-dimensional feeds” of social media such as Instagram or for contributing their art on platforms such as Unsplashed to contribute to the ‘digital art’ society.

‘Digital art’ also includes 3D rendering art and graphic design that transforms a web or social media platform into a virtual art museum via the screen and yet still offers the same aesthetics and ambiance.

The key is to shape perception through different senses. Museums are now providing their visitors with technology to help millennials appreciate art, by incorporating music and elements of storytelling to give them an immersive experience of the past. Beauty might be in the eyes of the beholder, but it will not change even through the screen of a device.

Art is in the eyes of the beholder. It will be affected by many factors such as one’s background, culture, and environment. Art, even when changing forms; is capable of evoking feelings and that is the true purpose of art.

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