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Monday, January 15, 2018

X Degrees of Separation - The Connections Between Artworks

The big news over the last few days about Google's Arts & Culture app has focused on people using the app to find their doppelgangers in the museum collections digitized by Google. While it is a neat feature, there are other Google Arts & Culture experiments worth trying. One of those is called X Degrees of Separation.

X Degrees of Separation lets you select two works of art in the Google Arts & Culture collection and then see works that can connect them. The purpose of X Degrees of Separation appears to be to show viewers how cultures can be connected through art. Each image that appears in the connections is linked to an individual page that will include a bit of information about the work. Depending upon the work that you've selected you may not get much more information than the artist's name and the museum in which the work is displayed. None-the-less, X Degrees of Separation is an interesting project.

Applications for Education
X Degrees of Separation could be a good jumping-off point for an art history lesson. Have students pick two artworks and see the connections. Since the connections are displayed as just images with minimal background information, have students research the connecting works and then create explanations of how the works are connected.