a misinterpreted teenagers-in-a-museum picture

“Late last year this photograph of children looking at their smartphones by Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’ in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam started doing the rounds on the web. It quickly became viral. It was often accompanied by outraged, dispirited comments such as “a perfect metaphor for our age”, “the end of civilisation” or “a sad picture of our society”.

Only they weren’t. It turns out that the Rijksmuseum has an app that, among other things, contains guided tours and further information about the works on display. As part of their visit to the museum, the children, who minutes earlier had admired the art and listened attentively to explanations by expert adults, had been instructed to complete an assignment by their school teachers, using, among other things, the museum’s excellent smartphone app.

I would like to think that all those who liked, posted, shared and tweeted the picture of children on smartphones by Rembrandt’s masterpiece in the erroneous belief that it illustrated everything that is wrong with society feel a tiny bit silly and a little more humble as a consequence. But it won’t happen.

The tragic thing is that this —— the truth —— will never go viral. So, I wonder, what is more likely to bring about the death of civilisation, children using smartphones to learn about art or the willful ignorance of adults who are too quick to make assumptions?”

“Technology and the death of civilisation” — by José Picardo at Medium — http://tinyurl.com/jz3ayfy


Posted on Ello: June 6, 2016 at 10:07AM: http://ift.tt/22HSKIi

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Author: Ferdi Zebua

For more info visit my WordPress.com blog, my Google+, or my Ello.

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