We are all being digitised one way or another. Performing arts companies, not able to perform, are gamely putting themselves in the digital space. But there are concerns. One leading Australian orchestra administrator has cautioned: ‘if we make the digital experience so engaging and so wonderful, what’s going to happen to the live shows?’ That’s an understandable concern, but decades ago, his predecessors had similar worries about quality sound recordings. In fact, recordings actually built knowledgeable, appreciative audiences.
Museums and galleries, still closed for no convincing reason, are using digital access to keep their public engaged. Thus we can view many of the great paintings in the world, up close and personal. Will that discourage us from going to galleries when they re-open? I doubt it; indeed we may be better informed and better able to appreciate what we then view in the gallery. An excellent use of digital technology is being made by Apollo magazine, a stable-mate of this publication. Apollo is not constrained by lockdown, but is providing added value to its readers through an online newsletter called Museums of the Mind. Editor Thomas Marks says he ‘wanted to bring together articles from our archives, grouped in themes, so they can cast felicitous reflections on one another.’ It’s full of interesting material, handsomely presented. There’s also a tour of the fabulous John Soane museum. Go to apollo-magazine.com for a digital dividend from lockdown.
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