Monday, 21 February 2011

Google Art Project Trolley

'The version of Street View technology used in the galleries involved an extremely high tech and rather silly-looking trolley. It was to be pushed around the rooms at a particular speed and on a peculiar route, and seemed to me to be a marvellous combination of garden-shed and cutting-edge.

Battery being changed on Google Art Project Museum View trolley

Battery change. At 23 kilos each they were not fun to carry around

The trolley was not simple. It had lasers and cameras and GPS and all sorts. You could not stand in its view, for fear of being captured. Yet it could see you, left right, up down, back and forth and everywhere in between. So it must be operated by a squirrel (a trained man with a perfectly shaped back) who hides in its visual wake and guides it through the rooms.

Close up of equipment on Google Art Project Museum View trolley

Then you have to be completely out of sight. Which is interesting when you are trying to oversee the logistics of the operation. And in an empty museum at 2am you begin to think that this rule of not seeing what is going on provides perfect cover for some daring and complex ploy to steal a masterpiece. And that must be what the lasers and cameras and GPS are for.'

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