An Art Genome Project

Sebastian Cwilich (left) and Carter Cleveland, shown at the gallery Haunch of Venison, constructed an art “genome." Image credit: Eric Ogden

An art genome project called went live on Monday.  Its mission is “to expose as many people as possible to art.” explains that its “growing collection comprises 17,000+ [10+04] artworks by 3,000+ [10+03] artists from leading galleries, museums, private collections, foundations, and artist estates. works with 300+ [10+02] of the world’s leading galleries, museums, private collections, foundations, and artist estates from New York to London, Paris to Shanghai, Johannesburg to São Paulo.”

The site has undergone “two years of private testing and with millions of dollars [10+06] from investors, including some celebrities in the art and technology worlds,” according to The New York Times. takes its inspiration from already successful genome projects such as Pandora and Netflix, which offer recommendations on what kind of music and movies someone might like based on previous selections.  But some people have their doubts as to whether or not the idea can be successfully applied to visual art.  Robert Storr, dean of the Yale University School of Art and former curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art told The New York Times: “It depends so much on the information, who’s doing the selection, what the criteria are, and what the cultural assumptions behind those criteria are.”  He added that, in regard to art comprehension, “I’m sure it will be reductive.”

Others, such as Seb Chan, director of the Cooper-Hewitt’s digital and emerging media, argue that, “You shouldn’t need to be a scholar to discover works of art that you might be fascinated by. . .You go to museums and you browse—chancing upon things is what it’s all about. The Art Genome is another way of creating serendipitous connections. . .For our culture, particularly people who live with the Web as part of their natural lives—anyone under 25—this is a natural way of browsing.”

Check out for yourself by clicking here.

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