I happened on this article today.
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“The result may be Instagrammable, though only by chance. “That’s the way visitors communicate these days,” Atkinson said. “Twenty-first-century museums are as much about being a social space as an educational space.
“So phones are encouraged. The use of hashtags is celebrated. And, according to Atkinson, the photos will never stop. Museums will continue to encourage photography, even as some of us yearn for at least a middle ground. “I personally can understand why some people might be annoyed with it,” she said. “It’s not my place to be telling people how they should interact with the artwork.”
“The problem is how we interact with other people, and whether anything will fill the void left by more traditional exhibitions. Freeing ourselves from Twitter and breaking-news alerts has never felt more necessary. The etiquette that allowed for that in museums is gone — and it’s not phones, but people, who have ruined it.
I recently wrote a short blog about my experience at the National Museum in London—which was a good one, by the way. I was surprised people were allowed to take photos. No flash photos of course, but flashes were going on intermittently. Guards would approach flashers and tell them not to do it. Then new people would arrive, another flash would go off, guard goes over and tells them not to. I confess to have taken two photos, one of a person taking photos, the other of a horse I fell in love with. Not so long ago photo were vehemently not allowed. I think this was a better time, a simpler time—old men always say this. I am one, but could easily find photos of my horse, Whistlejacket, on the internet—better than the one I took. The article above saddens me.
An artist being interviewed on TV today thinks cell phones are great, contributing is allowing people to get a look at themselves, to see how they are seen by others. We don’t see that much, in my opinion. Mostly poses and fake smiles. When did it become mandatory to smile for photographs? We weren’t asked to smile for paintings, but always for photographs. Can’t hold a fake smile long enough for painters I suppose.
I do not smile for photographs. “Why not?” A snapshot taker asked me.
Answer: “I don’t want to confuse people.”
I’m an analog man in a digital world.