Tag Archives: Arts and Culture

Jacquard and Google Arts and Culture weave tech into art

Words that appear out of white tapestries. Music that streams out of black fabric. A mysterious blue cloth-draped spiral that guides you with light and sound.

It may sound like a fantasy novel, but these are real works of art made possible with Jacquard by Google. Combining advanced hardware and software technology with textile and manufacturing know-how, Jacquard helps designers make digital experiences out of everyday objects. An ordinary denim jacket or a backpack transforms into something that answers calls, plays music and takes photos. 

In March, Jacquard (part of Google ATAP) and Google Arts & Culture created an artists in residency program to bring together technology, art and fashion. It was a unique opportunity for creative communities to enhance their work digitally—by weaving Jacquard technology into physical installations—while remaining focused on their original design.

We received more than 200 fascinating project ideas from artists, collectives and technologists all over the world. Chloé Bensahel, Amor Muñoz and OMA Space were selected to turn their proposals into monumental installations. Over the past six months, they collaborated with Google ATAP and Google Arts & Culture Lab engineers to deploy Jacquard technology within the hallowed exhibition rooms of Paris’s Mobilier national, a historic mainstay of furniture and textile manufacturing. Two of the installations were even produced in collaboration with the Mobilier national’s own weaving and pleating experts.

The result is “Please Touch the Thread,” a multisensory exhibition that triggers sounds and light effects when you touch the art. “Tree of Light” by OMA Space is a ten-meter-wide meditative walk. Bensahel’s “Words Wear Worlds” is an ensemble of seven tapestries that took 840 hours of weaving to create. Muñoz’s “Notes & Folds” is a tribute to the works of mathematician Ada Lovelace and composer Conlon Nancarrow. 

Touching, tapping or skimming the art corresponds to hundreds of different combinations, and each visitor has a different experience of the exhibit. Press one letter of Bensahel's tapestry, and you’ll hear that letter being sung. Swipe over a word, and you’ll hear that instead. The volume goes up or down depending on the strength of your touch.

The exhibition is open to the public from October 16th to 20th, during the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC), but will also live on digitally on Google Arts & Culture. Online visitors can navigate through 3D models of the installations and dig deeper into each artist’s creative process through exclusive video content.

Explore the Maya world with the British Museum

At first glance, the British Museum and Google may not seem like natural partners. One is a 266-year-old institution venerated as the first national public museum in the world. The other is a 21-year-old former startup and now the world’s largest digital company. 

But if you take a closer look, you’ll see some strong ties. The British Museum was created to host the knowledge of the world in objects and to unlock their stories. Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. So when we discovered an opportunity to work together with Google Arts & Culture, it turned out to be a natural fit.

Exploring the Maya World is a bold project to bring a rarely seen collection out of the British Museum repository and into the world. By harnessing the power of new technology to capture and communicate stories about the collections, the project helps bring important stories to a global audience.

This project has fully digitized the remarkable collection of ancient Maya art and architecture gathered by Alfred Maudslay in the late 19th century. Maudslay used the latest technology of his time to record the stories of ancient Maya cities in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. He developed the first dry glass plate photographs of iconic sites like Palenque, Chichen Itza and Tikal, spending years living and working throughout the region. He also created more than 400 large plaster cast replicas of building facades and monuments, which have been stored in the British Museum for more than 100 years. 

This collection represents some of the best preserved records of ancient Maya writing. By working closely with our colleagues in Mexico and Guatemala, we’ve made this entire collection available online for anyone to enjoy and research themselves. The incredible stories that have emerged during this project have also been put online for people to enjoy in Spanish, Portuguese and English anywhere in the world.

The power of this project has been its exceptionally collaborative approach: We’ve brought together curators, indigenous communities, scholars and technology specialists across Mexico, Guatemala, the U.K., Denmark, France and the U.S. Everyone has been united by a common mission to communicate the true value of conserving shared cultural heritage. By working together, I think we’ve achieved that goal. Exploring the Maya World brings to life the energy and dynamism of culture in a way that can be hard to generate within a physical environment. The voices in this project are vibrant and full of color. They tell their own stories and the stories of those that have lived before.

The British Museum already enjoys welcoming more than 6 million visitors to our galleries every year. But we have the potential to reach millions more by bringing our museum to the world virtually. Only a few years ago it would have seemed unrealistic to create a catalog of 3D objects viewable from anywhere in the world, let alone walk around ancient Maya cities while sitting in your living room. These journeys of discovery are critical to help engage all communities with the value and wonder of cultural heritage.  

I believe that these are exactly the kinds of research projects that international museums need to take on. Only by taking risks and pushing the boundaries of what is possible can we begin to expand the reach and role of the 21st-century global museum. This project has inspired me to think differently about the future, and I am excited to see where this technology of imagination will take us next.

You can discover these stories by visiting Exploring the Maya World.

Discover India through its crafts

Crafts are an essential part of India’s rural economy and also play an important role in India’s history and communities across the country today. Expanding our partnership with India’s Ministry of Tourism, we’re launching “Crafted in India” on Google Arts & Culture, so more people from around the world can discover the beauty and heritage of crafts from all 29 states of India. We spoke to Jaya Jaitly, the President of our partner institution Dastkari Haat Samiti, who traveled around the country for two years to document and preserve the items in the exhibition.

Tell us a bit more about yourself and your work in India.
I spent some years of my childhood in Japan, where I became a lover of art, crafts and textiles. I also have a passion for social activism, so it was a natural fit to explore the traditions of my home country India through these guiding principles—showcasing not just the crafts themselves, but how they lift up the economic and social status of the craft-makers. By documenting their work I strive to promote their culture and show how their designs and skills suit a contemporary and ever-changing world.

Why a project about crafts from India?
I was very excited when we got an opportunity to use the platform that Google Arts & Culture has created to show the world our craft creators. They have amazing skills, great resilience and work closely with their communities and environment. There is so much to discover, like how you can craft paper from the most unexpected materials, like pineapple fibres, old currency, or animal dung.

What aspect of Indian crafts did you capture and discover?
I hope we have captured the fantastic diversity of India’s crafts. Our stories show many different lifestyles, languages, communities, identities, styles of dress and traditions that India has nurtured over centuries. I am especially proud of the stories in the exhibition that show the strong role of women.

Working on the project, is there anything in particular that surprised you?
Living in urban India and familiar with many kinds of lifestyles all over the world, I was fascinated to discover how many of our craftspeople hold on to old practices and techniques despite the laborious processes involved. Their versatility in adapting to new materials, audiences and customers showed their sense of pride in their heritage.

How do crafts define the people and the culture of India? What can you learn about India through its crafts?
India is now prominent on all sorts of platforms across the world. And craft, in all its varieties, is one of the strongest crucibles of India’s culture. It can be at the center of developing our rural economy, sustaining our planet and promoting our diverse people and livelihoods. I also hope it will encourage people who enjoy the exhibition to come to India and engage with it more closely—this is just a small peek at the vast treasure chest on offer.

Make the Palace of Versailles yours on Google Arts & Culture

One of the first things I saw when I arrived at the Palace of Versailles in 2011 was a construction site. In partnership with Google, we were building the History Gallery, an exhibit that brought together our art collections and digital reconstructions of the palace in 3D. The History Gallery gave people a better understanding of Versailles, and eight years later, the partnership between the Palace of Versailles and Google Arts & Culture continues to give everyone access to this cultural treasure through technology. Today, we’re launching a new online exhibition for everyone who can’t make it to Paris or who wants to explore this majestic place in a new way: Versailles: The Palace is Yours.

Our new app VersaillesVR—a technological first in the cultural world—takes visitors on a virtual reality tour of the Royal Grand Apartments, the Chapel and the Opera. To capture the imagery, we used photogrammetry—a technology that reconstructs three-dimensional models of objects and landmarks from two-dimensional photographs. It’s an invitation to discover the secrets of Versailles, and a magnificent sneak peek for those who might plan to visit in person. Though nothing will ever replace the emotion of actually stepping into the Palace, we hope this visual immersion might inspire you to do just that.

There are also 18 new online exhibitions featuring 340 artworks—including portraits of the royal family digitized in ultra high resolution and archival photos of Versailles dating from the 19th century—as well as 18 never-before-seen 3D models of iconic rooms and objects. Explore the 73-meter long Hall of Mirrorsthe King’s Bed or Marie-Antoinette’s jewelry cabinet.

Versailles has always been an incredible place to visit. Today, opening the doors of Versailles to the world means opening them virtually, too.

Japanese food and flavors come to Google Arts & Culture

The Japanese word “meshiagare” means “enjoy your meal.” And don’t we all enjoy our food more when we know its story? “Meshiagare! Flavors of Japan” is a new online exhibition designed to help us do just that.  Presented by Google Arts & Culture and 20 partners, including the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, it brings together thousands of photos and videos exploring the people, places and traditions that make Japanese cuisine so special.  


Walk with us through Golden Gai, a street lined with nearly 300 tiny bars, where food, culture and the arts have collided for generations. Taste (well, almost) street food in Osaka and travel with us to the future to learn how you can have authentic Japanese food in space.


As well as the sights and sounds of Japan’s food scene, there are insights on how some of your favorite Japanese dishes and ingredients came to be. Did you know that soba was first consumed as dumplings? Or that one way of making udon involves stomping on the dough with your feet to make sure it’s the right consistency?

With more than 100 online exhibitions and more than 3,000 high-quality images, videos and stories, brought together in one place for the first time, “Meshiagare! Flavors of Japan” is a journey deep into Japanese gastronomy.  It's the second major Google Arts & Culture exhibition focused on Japanese culture after “Made in Japan,” which highlighted local craftsmanship. 


Craving more? Download the app, join the conversation using the hashtag #Meshiagare, or explore more than 90 smaller collections dedicated to Japanese culture on the Google Arts & Culture website.

“Great Sporting Land” tours Australia’s sports-mad history

Australians have a passion for sports—so much that it was perfectly normal for the Prime Minister to give the entire country the day off when they won a boat race back in 1983. Over generations, Australia’s favorite pastimes have shaped the country’s identity, values and culture. Along with the Melbourne Cricket Club, Australian Football League, National Portrait Gallery and the North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, Google Arts & Culture is showcasing the people, moments and places that led Australia to become the “Great Sporting Land” it is today. 

The exhibition features over 11,000 archived images and videos, and more than 100 original stories from more than 30 partners. To do so, Google’s Art Camera technology has been on a marathon between sporting institutions across the country to capture over 200 pieces of art, archival materials and artifacts in high resolution gigapixel quality.

Join cricket legend Steve Waugh who will take you on a tour of the archives of the world-famous Bradman Museumwhere you can zoom in to the hand-etched scores on the back of Don Bradman’s first bat. Or take a trip to a changing room at The Sydney Cricket Ground, where visiting players have drawn their standout batting and bowling figures on the changing room door. You can also follow Steve Waugh through a video seriesthat offers never-before-seen insight into his work and memories of the sport. 

Then put on your cossies or your togs (swimwear) to feel the vibes of a trip into Summers Past from the National Archives of Australia —an exhibition celebrating the golden days in the Australian sunshine. The surf’s up when you Watch the Waves, a selection of photographs by the National Archives, or explore the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club in Google Street View.


For Australians, sports are a part of national identity, pride and belonging, whether played by everyday people or world known icons. To discover more moments from Australia’s sporting history by visiting g.co/GreatSportingLand, or download the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS or Android.

Explore art and color in our latest AR gallery

Abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky said, “Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” That’s hard to dispute when you consider the melancholy blues and greens of Picasso’s early Blue Period, or the vibrant yellows of a simple vase of Sunflowers by Van Gogh.

Color has also inspired the latest “Pocket Gallery” on Google Arts & Culture, which uses Augmented Reality to create a virtual space that you can explore using a smartphone. After the first Pocket Gallery brought together paintings by Vermeer last year, the latest collection features a variety of artists’ works, captured in high resolution and selected according to each piece’s color palette.

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The “Art of Color”Pocket gallery in the Google Arts & Culture app

In “The Art of Color,” you can explore four rooms of paintings that each represent a different color palette—you’ll also find a dark room that juxtaposes Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch with the Op art mastery of Bridget Riley. We selected the art using our Art Palette tool, which brings together a range of works through the lens of color.

The gallery also has a series of playful geometric shapes and vibrant colors that complement the paintings inside. The new Pocket Gallery features art from 33 partner institutions across four continents, and allows you to learn about works of many different eras and styles.

One of the goals of the Google Arts & Culture team is to find new or unexpected ways to bring people closer to art. From renowned masterpieces to hidden gems, “The Art of Color” brings together artworks like Georgia O’Keeffe’s Red Cannas and Amrita Sher-Gil’s Mother India or Hokusai’s South Wind, Clear Dawn.

To check it out, make sure you download the Google Arts & Culture app on your AR-enabled Android or iOS smartphone. You'll find the new gallery in the Camera Tab, and you can jump inside to explore each piece from there.

Google for Mexico: Improving Mexicans’ lives through technology

Mexico is a diverse country in search of opportunities to accelerate development in an inclusive and equitable way. In our first Google for Mexico event this week, we presented new ways to help Mexicans achieve better employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, contribute to society through technological solutions and promote the country’s culture. 

Technology as a source of growth and opportunity

The Internet is boosting local businesses in Mexico, and Google is helping through our search and advertising tools. In 2018, website publishers, nonprofit organizations and more than 40,000 companies generated 47 billion pesos in economic impact throughout the country thanks to digital tools. To learn more about our success stories, you can visit our Economic Impact Report.

Google is helping people acquire and update the necessary skills to apply for a job or to be more effective in the work they already do. With programs like Grow with Google, we’ve trained more than 11,000 people, helping thousands of users in the development of their digital skills throughout the country. We have also launched other digital training projects like Digital Garage, Primer and Women Will, among other initiatives. 

Additionally, we announced that the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, developed by Google and hosted on Coursera, will be translated into Spanish. Google.org is also giving a  $1.1 million USD grant to the International Youth Foundation to offer scholarships to 1,000 young Mexicans, to ensure that underrepresented communities have supported and free access to the course. 

Bringing technology to everyone 

In Mexico, there are currently 74 million people online, and 18 million more are expected to join in the next two years. That's equivalent to almost 20 newly connected people per minute.

In over a year that Google Station has been in operation in Mexico, we have seen millions of people go online and get connected to more information and better opportunities. Google Station’s fast, free and open Wi-Fi is in more than 100 locations throughout the country, with more sites going live in other public places very soon.  

Google's solutions for companies help Mexico promote itself as a great place to do business. That way, society can focus less on economics and more about improving living conditions and anticipating crises before they arrive. With the launch of Android Emergency Location Service (ELS), people will be able to contact emergency services when an emergency call is placed in a supported jurisdiction, even if the user has no mobile data plan or no mobile data credit left.

Strengthening small businesses online

The role of small and medium businesses in the Mexican economy is crucial for employment growth. Currently, less than 50 percent of small and medium sized businesses in the country have digital presences, but Google's solutions can help expand businesses’ opportunities, reduce their operating costs and support them as they reach their consolidation.

Google for Mexico

Dora Velázquez, Flores de Oaxaca owner, used Google My Business to grow her business.

Google My Business is an easy, fast and secure solution for small and medium businesses to start their online business. The Smart Campaigns program can also help small business owners reach new customers with an easy advertising solution which creates ads based on the business' objectives: calls, visits to their stores or visits to their websites. 

Helping Mexicans use the power of their voices 

When we launched the Google Assistant in Mexico two years ago, our goal was to help people get things done throughout the day at home, in the car and on the go—while having a unique understanding of the culture and context. Since then, more Mexicans are turning to the Assistant for help listening to music, playing games and getting answers to questions. The number of active users of the Assistant in Mexico has grown more than eight times since the beginning of 2018. Additionally, Spanish is the third most used Assistant language globally.

Over the coming months, the Assistant will get even more helpful. Mexican users will soon be able to book a ride in Spanish with providers like Cabify, Uber, and Bolt (formerly known as Taxify), order food delivery with Rappi and even transfer money to friends or family using BBVA—with help from their voice.

Google for Mexico

Assistant users in Mexico will soon be able to book a ride in Spanish with providers like Cabify, Uber and Bolt (formerly known as Taxify).

Building smarter cities 

Since 2014, Waze has been working with cities and municipalities around the world to help improve urban mobility. What started with 10 city partners has grown to more than one thousand globally, with 24 partners here in Mexico, including the Mexico City Mobility Department, the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, Jalisco, Monterrey and many others.

Now, all Waze for Cities Data partners can now store data for free via Google Cloud, while accessing best-in-class tools including BigQuery and Data Studio. Cities will be able to easily monitor traffic and transportation events, look at historical trends, assess the before and after effects of interventions and more. 

Municipalities like Querétaro are already leveraging Waze data to make mobility improvements. They recently looked at traffic patterns during peak hours and determined when commercial trucks should enter the city and where they should park. They even re-zoned certain parts of the city. 

A rich heritage, preserved and shared with the world

Mexico’s traditions are colorful and moving, a true expression of the identity of its people. To showcase this cultural heritage, Google Arts & Culture has dedicated a special initiative to capture and share Mexico with the world.

Google for Mexico

This is the first time the Soumaya Museum is digitally presenting its research on the Grana Cochinilla.


Recently, we partnered with one of the most visited museums in the world: the Soumaya Museum. For the first time, it will be possible to visit the museum and view its collection from any device from anywhere in the world. The project showcases more than 700 items encompassing over 30 centuries of art, including one of the world’s largest Auguste Rodin’s collections outside of France. 

The Soumaya Museum has digitized 31 paintings in extremely high resolution using the Art Camera, allowing the user to see details that are not visible with the naked eye. The museum is virtually opening its doors with the use of Museum View technology, which allows anyone, anywhere to admire the architecture of Fernando Romero, at the heart of a new commercial district in Mexico City. 

Google for Mexico

Soumaya Museum, Carlos Slim Foundation, Gallery 6.

Access to information is essential for the growth of countries. At Google, we believe that technology is the fuel to empower Mexico, providing smart solutions for millions of people.

Stories of Yoga on Google Arts & Culture

Yoga has been around for a few millennia, but I’m completely new to the practice and have only practiced a few poses, like Ekpadasana (the “one leg posture”). Just like a yoga teacher would lead you through the steps of this posture, a new Google Arts & Culture collection called Stories of Yoga, takes you through the history, culture and science behind the practice. If you’re a new yogi like me, follow the sequence below to learn the “one leg posture,” and read on for some insights our partners have shared for the “Stories of Yoga” exhibit.

1. Come to a standing posture. Take in a deep breath.

Do you know what the word “yoga” means? It has a lot of nuanced interpretations. The ancient Indian text, called Rigveda, implied yoga means “achieving the unachieved,” “harnessing,” or “connection,” and the exhibition “What is Yoga?” explains other interpretations.

2. Finding your balance, bring up your right foot and place it in the center of the inner thigh of your left leg. Your toes should point downward.

One of the most widely-known gurus, Swami Sivananda, introduced five principles of yoga: proper exercise (āsana), the right breathing (prāṇāyāma), relaxation (śavāsana), proper diet, and positive thinking & meditation (vedānta).

3. Bring your palms together in front of your chest as if in prayer, and focus your gaze on a spot in the distance in front of you. Exhale.

Yoga is older than you might think, it actually dates back by a few millennia. The so-called Vedas and Upanishads started referring to yoga around 3000 BC. Two of the earliest teachers who recorded texts dedicated to yoga were Yajnavalkya and Patanjali. Visit the Museum of Classical Yoga and explore a brief timeline.

4. Hold the position and inhale and exhale deeply a few times.

Yoga strengthens your body as well as the mind. Learn about Shri Yogendra, who started off as a wrestler before rooting himself into yoga and founding the Yoga Institute. Or follow the journey of well known guru B.K.S Iyengar, who used yoga to heal his tuberculosis-affected body.

5. Release back into the standing posture slowly, and repeat for the other leg.

Did you know that women were actually barred from practicing the yoga discipline? Meet pioneer Shrimati Sita Devi Yogendra, who changed perceptions by becoming the first female guru. She introduced sequences specially tailored for women’s physiology.

6. As a variation, you can lift your arms up all the way while holding the prayer position. As another variation, you can do the entire sequence while lying flat on your back instead of standing.

There are so many different postures and their variations, and each school has a set of their own. Take a sneak-peek into some of the yoga centers in virtual walkthroughs and see the practice sessions up close.

It is not a big stretch to learn more about yoga thanks to Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams, The Yoga Institute, Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Vivekananda House and other institutions on Google Arts & Culture at g.co/storiesofyoga.

Art Zoom: Masterpieces up close through the eyes of famous musicians

What if you could see art through an artist’s eyes? On the occasion of the 130th anniversary of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” Google Arts & Culture is introducing Art Zoom, a new way to discover details of iconic works of art. Produced by musical experience creators La Blogothèque, the video series introduces you to visual masterpieces through the eyes of your favorite musicians.

Follow the blue and yellow undulating brush strokes of “Starry Night” with Maggie Rogers, who finds inspiration in the “psychedelic” scene as well as exposed pieces of canvas that Van Gogh chose not to paint. These gaps in the oil are easy to miss with the naked eye, but can be seen in surprising detail with Art Camera.

Listen and keep your eyes peeled as iconic music figures take you on a tour of some of the greatest masterpieces of the world in Art Zoom.

Maggie Rogers on "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh (MoMA The Museum of Modern Art)

British rockstar Jarvis Cocker is your guide through a hectic morning at Monet’s “La Gare Saint Lazare.” From the dark figures congregating on the platform to the subtle red glow of burning coal, the Pulp frontman explores his favorite features from Monet’s impressionist masterpiece.

Listen and keep your eyes peeled as iconic music figures take you on a tour of some of the greatest masterpieces of the world in Art Zoom.

Jarvis Cocker on "The Gare St-Lazare" by Claude Monet (The National Gallery - London)

“The Tower of Babel” by Pieter Bruegel the Great hangs in Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, its miniature residents difficult to discern. Zooming in with Art Camera, Canadian pop star Feist introduces you to the quirky inhabitants who inspire her work.

Listen and keep your eyes peeled as iconic music figures take you on a tour of some of the greatest masterpieces of the world in Art Zoom.

Feist on "The Tower of Babel" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien)

More than 10,000 artworks from 208 partners worldwide have been captured with Art Cameraand digitized in ultra-high resolution, from the fluffy fabric from which Vivienne Westwood tailored the Keith Haring “Witches” dress, to the almost photographic View of Delft by Vermeer. You can see these works in intricate detail simply by browsing on the Google Arts & Culture app. Explore Art Zoom online at g.co/ArtZoom, or download our free app for iOS or Android.