AUTOMATION FOR GALLERIES
Galleries are regularly changing and installing new exhibitions. For galleries with websites, that means updating the site with new content: digital pictures of works in the exhibition, biographies of the artists involved, press releases, etc. Conventional design and programming for multiple pieces of content is time-consuming, and if an outside party (non-gallery staff) is updating the site, it can be a cumbersome and expensive process (see illustration, page 14). For a gallery’s website to work, the site must stay up to date with this new content; otherwise it ceases to be relevant not only to the visitor, but to search engines (see page 47). The website’s ideal function should be to communicate gallery activities and other essential gallery information. It can also serve as a useful internal resource, an instantly accessible archive of a gallery’s current and past activities. A good website is particularly useful to a gallery because of the international nature of the art business. Collectors are located all over the world, and their tastes and interests tend not to be confined to their local region. The website can serve as a communication bridge—if a London collector can’t physically visit a New York gallery, they can visit the gallery’s website to know what’s going on. Like almost any company today, a gallery represents a brand, a particular type of experience. Among in-theknow artists and collectors, certain galleries do have a cachet, a unique “vibe” that resonates with the art public, and a gallery website must be designed to reinforce that impression. For any gallery website to be relevant and practical, it has to accomplish a number of diverse tasks. The ideal solution is to automate the website’s functions and to make that automation 16
The Art World and the World Wide Web. Essays, Interviews and Case Studies.