Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Media Studies

Supervisor

Carole Farber

Abstract

This thesis explores the digitization initiative Google Art Project and the ways in which the Project negotiates its place between rapidly developing Web technologies and the often-contradictory fine art tradition. Through the Project’s marketing and website design, Google constructs a narrative that emphasizes the democratization of culture, universal accessibility and a new progressive future for the art world while obscuring more complex political, social and cultural questions. Bringing together scholarship from various disciplines including library studies, digital studies, art history, and cultural studies this thesis highlights how the Project might open up a space to talk about art publics and the desire for openness in the art institution while also recognizing how GAP remains firmly planted within that institutional structure.