Digital tools to experience culture from home

As the rest of the world, you are probably stuck at home because of the global pandemic. However what better time to discover new places and cultures around the world! But how? You are supposed stay at home. Every museum is closed and there is no way you are getting on a plane very soon. No worries! Some great digital tools allow you to discover art and culture from all around the world while staying at home.

The biggest digital tool: Google Arts & Culture

The giant Google has used its huge databases and its cutting-edge technology to create a great platform for art-lovers and everyone curious to broaden their general knowledge. Google Arts & Culture is a website and an app where you can walk into the MOMA in New York thanks to the street view technology and explore its collections. You can time-travel to learn more about our ancestors by visiting the Chauvet cave with a virtual tour in augmented reality and where you can travel to Spain through videos and games showing its diverse culture and a multitude of experiences.

MOMA in New York
Moma in New York photo by Ed Schipul

Google Arts & Culture has partnerships with the biggest museums in the world. They work hand-in-hand to digitize their collections and create new immersive ways to get access to culture for anybody. From your phone, you can get a high-resolution picture of famous paintings, allowing you to zoom in to get the most of the details. Google uses extremely powerful art cameras that capture in great detail an art piece and digitize it in an hour. With the experts from the museums, Google makes available to the public wide explanations and information on the artists and the pieces of art. 

From the house of Frida Kahlo or Harry Potter, to the history of the Mayas, this app has a lot to offer to curious minds. Everything is free, all you need is an Internet access and a screen.

Wheelchair in Frida Kahlo's Blue House in Coyoacan
Wheelchair in Frida Kahlo’s Blue House in Coyoacan, Mexico City. Photo from Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata

Other digital initiatives worth mentioning

  • The Sydney Opera House offers on its website a large multimedia selection. In their « Digital Season », you can watch concerts and Operas from your couch. Their diverse program goes from classical concerts, contemporary performances to talks with special guests, and behind the scenes. They target different publics: from amateurs to teachers and younger generations.
  • France is known for its great archeological heritage. The French Department for Culture and the « Centre des monuments nationaux » allow visiting famous caves where the prehistoric men came and drew on the walls. Through a digital tour, we get the chance to go inside the caves and discover the drawings.
    You can now enter the Lascaux cave or the Fond-de-Gaume cave.
  • Finally, the last digital initiative is the British National Library’s digital collection. They offer free and easy access to a selection of books, manuscripts, photographs, but also of sounds or old maps

New technologies and culture managed to merge to offer access to cultural knowledge to many of us. In these times of lockdown, it’s a great way to get curious and learn more while staying in bed.

Written by Helene François, CAWEB Master’s