Tag Archives: Modern Art

Field Trip Experiment – Kids Using Google Goggles at the Museum

Recently, my AP Art History kids and I took a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. I decided that it would be a great opportunity for the students to play with Google Goggles – we could see how it works in practice and I could bug my students for input on the best ways to employ this tool for school. If you’re not familiar with Google Goggles, check out this video below:

I gave them the opportunity to earn extra credit and encouraged those without Smart Phones to share. I gave them the assignment to use Google Goggles on a minimum of two (2) pieces (they could do more if they wanted) and to answer the following questions:

Were the results quick? 

Were the results accurate? 

Does the information appear thorough?

What type of resources does Google locate? 

Does it solely return secondary resources or primary as well? 

Any other observations of note?

I also encouraged them to include pieces that did *not* pull up on on Google Goggles, as we want to see its breadth. The students were eager to use the tools on the trip – borrowing each other’s and even my own phone to try it out. We noticed some stark differences between sculpture and paintings, as well as Modern Art and “Classical.” Sculpture would often not pull up, unless you took the photo from a very specific angle (and even then, you had to take two or three pictures). Paintings were more readily able to be found via Google Image search – the exception being Modern Art with more saturated colors (such as a Rothko). As per usual, I was thoroughly impress with what my students produced.

Here are a few examples of their findings (some with pictures):

Overall, the students found Google Goggles easy (and even fun) to use. However, it does need some further development. Still, they almost universally told me that they would be using it on all future museum visits to learn more about the art around them. One also mentioned that she would be going to Europe with her family during Spring Break and that she planned on giving it a whirl in Italy with the monuments.

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Jackson Pollock Demonstrates Physics in his Strokes

Jackson Pollock, the man who brought American art to the forefront of the field and one of the father’s of the abstract expressionist movement, was not applying slap-dash, free-flung practices in his famous ‘splatter paintings.’

A group of physicists and mathematicians have released a carefully analyzed study of his work and have concluded that:

They found that Pollock’s drizzles, drips and splashes could be explained by physical phenomena known as jets, drops and sheets. Each is governed by the laws of fluid dynamics, which Pollock exploited using careful technique and manipulating the thickness of his pigments and paints with water and solvents, according to the researchers.

Their findings were published in a recent edition of Physics Today. While many people examine Pollock’s splatter paintings and think “My six year old could do that!” Science would seem to disagree!

“By pouring paint in this continuous jet fashion or by dripping it, he incorporated physics into the process of painting itself,” study researcher Andrzej Herczynski, a physicist at Boston College, said in a statement. “To the degree that he did and to the degree he varied his materials — by density or viscosity — he was experimenting in fluid dynamics, although his aim was not to describe the physics, but to produce a certain aesthetic effect.”

Read more about the article here at MSNBC or in Physics Today (with a paid subscription or single buy for the article).

MoMA Talks Free on iTunes U

MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) in New York City has recently released its lectures series for free on iTunes U. You can now listen to world-class artists, critics, and scholars on a range of topics: from ancient art to abstract expressionism.

The lecture series are in audio formats as well as video series lectures. These are beautifully presented on both your computer screen or iPod. You can view their lectures series availabilities on iTunes U via this link.