In honor of the week's news involving Jackson Pollock, I have decided to use the inspired artist as my own muse in an exercise of searching for art and interpretation resources on the web. I limited myself to highlights of the first 10 results (sorted by Google Ranking).
- #1 - Create your own Pollock - Cool flash animation.
- #2 - Pollock's bio on Wikipedia - As with many Wikipedia resources, diverse, thorough and interesting.
- #4 - National Gallery of Art's Feature on Pollock
- #9 - The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center - An interestingly decorated website at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. No real exciting content here which is too bad since the study center includes Pollock's personal library and the studio where many of the artist's most important works were created.
What does this tell us about the web? A good deal more than it tells us about Pollock.
It is amazing, the fact that Pollock is one of the most exciting, creative and avante-garde artists in the last century makes no difference to a search engine. The algorithms fail the users in this regard. But it isn't just Google. They are just the messengers.
Where are museums in the education and positioning of artist's works online? Why aren't institutions working together to form vertical search cooperatives that give users an authoritative and engaging destination for art content? And, given all the new ways of presenting and relating content and media out there, it is unforgivable that one of the most influential artists of the modern era would receive such a low-fi and downright boring treatment on the web and one that does virtually nothing to increase appreciation or understanding the artist's time or work.