Soon you may be able to visit the museums and galleries of the world without ever leaving your wi-fi hotspot. Britain’s Tate Museum will be giving everyone with internet access the opportunity to pilot a robot through the building after hours to see, and do, basically whatever you want. Art thieves of the world, take notice.
The program is called “After Hours” and was the winning entry to the IK Prize, a contest designed to foster interest in art using technology. The concept was created by digital design group The Workers, composed of Tommaso Lanza, Ross Cairns and David Di Duca.
Here’s the ridiculously cultured trio giving the down-low on their winning entry.
Personally I love the idea of having one-on-drone time with a curatorobot, but as The Workers explain, they’re also working on a queue function that would allow up to four visitors to enjoy After Hours simultaneously, which means you and your gang no longer have an excuse to be uncultured drunk plebeians on Friday night.
A group function would also allow participants in different time zones to potentially roll out of bed and look at some art while simultaneously fostering international relations with strangers all over the world.
If you’re a museum purist who worries that widespread access to masterpieces may in some way dilute our respect for them, The Workers say that they know their little museum rovers can’t replicate the experience of actually physically going to a museum.
Instead, they want After Hours to shed a new light and angle (specifically, a tiny robot’s light and angle) on how we are exposed to art and history, while also providing some facsimile of the museum experience to people who will never be able to physically visit.
Come on-even if you’re not a teacher, art historian, or international relations advocate, most people can understand the illicit thrill of being alone in a museum after hours with some of mankind’s greatest masterpieces. There’s a reason From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is such a beloved children’s classic — being in a museum after hours is a forbidden act, and we all want to see if the dinosaur bones come alive.
Plus, this is an opportunity for you to feel much fancier and smarter than everyone else. So put on faux pearls, grab some wine and cheese, and try not to let the robots upstage the Renoirs.
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