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Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery – when was the last time you visited a museum?

Recently I popped in at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart Tasmania. Apart from the historically rich and exciting exhibition about Tasmania’s intriguing history the art gallery upstairs held some treasures. Skipping the stuffed animals part of the exhibition allowed me enough time to browse around the fantastic art exhibits, oil paintings of a young Hobart thriving in an excited and young way bursting into an important port. I was struck by the age and the detail of the images before me, splendid in their majestic wooden frames. Images documenting a period of time hundreds of years ago protected full time by the gentleman curator, sat in the corner suspiciously eyeing the white lines running before the paintings, waiting for any sort of breach of boundary that would spell a warning of impending doom for these protected arts. Fascinated I wondered whether our images would be treasured, the simplicity of multiple reprints and being able to view images of the whole world from your living room anytime of day or night. Limited edition reprints are about as exclusive it has got over the last century, in-fact since the birth of photography, but what about one off originals, will we ever shoot an image and print it once and frame it in a huge 10 foot long frame and delete the file. Would this be enough to make a curator from the future sit in a protected room away from harsh sunlight and be enough to make people insist on whispering in awe. I can’t ever see any photographer decide to do this but sometimes I wonder what will happen to our great works of art, forever present on the world wide web for all to see, will they be immortal or drift off into oblivion, syphoned from the cyber world when our photographic kin decides there is too much data on the internet or whatever global network may exist.

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