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Week 19                                                                                                by Andries Loots

The days of traditional art exhibition in Galleries with invited guests,  all dressed up for the occasion,  walking around sipping a glass of wine while the majority of the people does not have the privilege of joining them, is fast becoming a tendency of the past because of modern technology like the Internet.

Art exhibitions,   Galleries and Museums have already morphed into duel events in the real world and in cyberspace and will continue to change as we approach the new millennium.

The reasons for this are numerous but the following factors contribute to these changes.

Personal safety especially in the main centers is a major concern for attendants at openings especially at night. The risk of being burgled while leaving your residence at night as well as the danger of being mugged on your way to the exhibition is a frightening reality.

Parking in areas where exhibitions are staged, is another contributing factor. People don't want to drive around endlessly looking for safe parking. The increasing pace of living is also turning free time into a very valuable commodity which can not be wasted.

Most of the professional people visiting art exhibitions have already got access to Internet either at home or at work.The others  are able to visit an internet cafe for affordable access to the Web.The latest kitchen appliances are also designed to include Internet accessibility and will soon for part of every house hold bringing the net to the masses.

A person with Internet access can view an exhibition in comfort and in the privacy of their personal environment to search for that special work of art. Although the true nature of a work of art can never be seen on a computer screen we are fast moving towards 3D technology. If one already knows the artists work,  one can form a much better picture of the virtual representation. An added benefit is that one can have a second look at the exhibition at the click of a mouse button.

In stead of being afraid of this advancement we should rather embrace these changes.