Apollo Magazine: The virtues – and vices – of virtual museum tours . “The recent fetishisation of ‘experiences’, the consumption of places rather than of things, has led to some museums privileging their buildings over their collections, and this tendency is borne out in the priorities of many virtual museums. It is nearly 50 years since John Berger popularised Walter Benjamin’s description of the aura of artworks in his television series Ways of Seeing, positing that the loss of a sense of place and time was the greatest failure of photographic reproductions. Though virtual tours offer a unique experience – an encounter with an object in the place it happens to be – their efforts to share a sense of place and time with visitors sometimes risk eclipsing the object entirely.”
Asbury Park Press: Coronavirus in NJ: How to visit the boardwalk, aquarium and more from home. “We’re all doing our part to fight the global coronavirus pandemic by responsibly staying inside. But you can still experience plenty of New Jersey’s landmark destinations from the comforts of your own home. Concert venues, museums, educational institutions and amusement spots have all moved online, giving folks from New Jersey and beyond a virtual escape.”
New York Times: With Campuses Closed, College Tours Move Online. “Virtual coffees with college students for high school juniors. Zoom sessions between applicants and admissions officers. Student guides offering welcoming messages in video selfies and scenic views of university campuses captured by drones. This is what spring college tour season looks like across America, where universities are going to great lengths to show off lecture halls, green space, libraries and laboratories that have all been emptied out by the pandemic, albeit online.”
PR Newswire: Discover Puerto Rico First to Offer Live Guided Tours Through Google Earth (PRESS RELEASE). “As most of us enter another week of shelter-in-place mandates, Discover Puerto Rico is the first destination to entertain and educate would-be tourists by transporting them through Google Earth on live guided tours throughout the Island. Jorge Montalvo from Patria Tours will be hosting a series of three live guided tours utilizing Google Earth, during National Travel and Tourism Week (May 3-9). Participants will feel like they are actually in Puerto Rico, seeing the Island’s natural wonders, off the beaten path experiences, and cultural offerings, with the ability to interact and ask questions along the way.” The tours are free.
State of New Jersey: To Celebrate Earth Day, DEP Launches Online Stay-at-Home Activities, Learning Tools And Virtual Park Visits. “Visitors can also check in on active peregrine falcon and bald eagle nests through the live webcams maintained by the Wildlife Conservation Foundation of New Jersey, as well as the group’s many other interesting wildlife video and educational offerings. New Jersey’s Division of Parks and Forestry is also bringing New Jersey’s parks to visitors virtually. Its popular #IHeartNJParks campaign now connects with the public through virtual access through its Facebook and Instagram pages ( https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyStateParks/ and https://www.instagram.com/newjerseystateparks). The campaign posts new content each day, including a special collection of park tours and projects, interviews with experts and never published historical photos. In addition, through a series of stunning, even inspiring, videos, families can make virtual visits to popular parks and historic sites from High Point to Cape May Point.”
TimeOut: London’s first public art walk The Line goes online. “There is a now new way to walk the line without ever getting lost. To celebrate its fifth birthday, mark International Sculpture Day and cope with the obvious barrier of the lockdown, The Line is going online. In collaboration with children’s arts charity House of Fairy Tales, it has launched a new interactive map which will guide you through each art installation. Click on the numbered dots and you’ll be given the story behind sculptures like Alex Chinneck’s immense 35-metre-tall latticed steelwork ‘A Bullet from a Shooting Star’ or Laura Ford’s ’Bird Boy’, a lonely figure of a lost child in a bird costume that stands on the edge of a pontoon in the Royal Docks.”
Broadway World: British Museum Revamps Collection Online. “The British Museum today launches a major revamp of its online collection database, allowing over 4 million objects to be seen by people anywhere in the world. This new version of the online database – officially called the British Museum Collection Online – has been unveiled earlier than planned so that people who are currently under lockdown measures due to Covid-19 can enjoy the treasures from one of the world’s great collections from the comfort of their own home.”
Boston City Life: The Coolest Ways to Experience Boston Museums Virtually Right Now. “Beyond virtual museum tours available for free via Google Arts & Culture, Boston’s best museums are rolling out plenty of innovative new ideas and activities this spring. From a digital music playlist that animates an urban art exhibit, to an interactive game that lets history buffs play sailor, check out these exciting ways to engage online with Boston’s museums right now.”
TimeOut: You can now virtually tour these Miami museums for free. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned while social-distancing is that we don’t visit Miami’s cultural institutions enough. Right now, we miss the days we almost went to PAMM, or drove by the Bass but wound up at Sweet Liberty instead. We’re lucky our cherished local museums don’t hold grudges and continue to welcome us back, albeit virtually, to entertain and educate us while we’re home. Ready to explore? Just follow the links below.”
Rutland Herald: Building Vermont Art Online: Virtual tours of the state’s art museums. “Sarah Laursen and Sarah Briggs are in the process of creating a statewide online hub for visual arts. It may be the only site of its kind in Vermont, and soon it will be host to virtual tours, online activities for home and links to art centers all over the state.”
PBS: 19 immersive museum exhibits you can visit from your couch. “Experts have called for ‘social distancing’ — the broad, conscious effort to avoid close contact with other people or public places — amid the global novel coronavirus pandemic to limit the transmission of the virus. As communities scale back the size of their gatherings, or stop meeting all together, many museums are temporarily shut down as a precautionary measure. But that doesn’t mean their collections and other online art exhibits can’t be viewed from home.”
BBC: L Devine: ‘Coronavirus delayed my tour so I’m touring on social media instead’. “L Devine isn’t the only artist to offer fans an alternative to cancelled or postponed shows. YungBlud streamed a gig on YouTube followed by a live chat, featuring Machine Gun Kelly and Bella Thorne. He encouraged over 200,000 viewers to send pictures of themselves during the set.”
MakeUseOf: 13 Breathtaking Google Earth Virtual Tours You Must Explore. “For ages, Google Earth has remained people’s go-to service for browsing our globe. All from the comfort of their home and couches. Google Earth was completely overhauled in 2017. And that introduced more virtual tours to the world’s most exotic places and cultures. This gives you a chance to learn more about them. Here are the thirteen best virtual tours on Google Earth you should explore.” I thought I would know all of these but I didn’t. Good roundup.