The 'real' thing

This week I've been looking closely at images.  It's been some time since Microsoft architect Blaise Aguera showed Seadragon and Photosynth on TED, though in the news yesterday was more on Google's high res images from the Prado in Madrid.  

 

The technology is incredibly impressive but I'm not sure that I really value the ability to see the Prado's paintings in such extreme high resolution.  There is some intrinsic fascination in seeing detail that you couldn't access even if you were in the gallery but there's only so many cracks in the paintwork that can grab my attention.

I'm more interested in examples like the curated collection provided by The National Gallery where I can get a better feel for artist and the context for the work.  So, for me, there is nothing like actually seeing the work; the real thing...

...and yet.  Where are we with photos - or other digital art forms where the binary code wouldn't look so good?

 And I've been amused lately by comments on the picture we have been using for our PR.

'Hey, I really like that shot of you and the kids in the sea...'

'It's not us - its a Microsoft freebie.'

'Oh, I don't like it then.'