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Mark Harden's Artchive: CD-ROM Reviews

Joan Miro

Joan Miró:
The colour of dreams

from Institut Universitari de l'Audiovisual

Note: This CD-ROM is available directly from Miró's Foundation in Barcelona. Email fjmiro@bcn.fjmiro.es; the person in charge is Dolors Ricard.

click on the thumbnails to view the screen captures.

Probably the biggest challenge to designing an effective art CD-ROM is providing a large amount of data, but in an easily navigable interface. Joan Miró: The colour of dreams not only meets this challenge, but provides a highly interactive, breathtakingly beautiful, experience.

As listed in the highly informative instruction manual, the CD-ROM contains the following material on Miró:

  • 650 works of art
  • 800 images
  • 60 minutes of animation
  • 12 games
  • 10 minutes of original music
  • 200 minutes of narration (in 4 languages)
  • 2,000 pages of textual information (in 4 languages)
  • 700 hypertext links
  • 150 keywords for searches
Amazingly, this mass of material is not overwhelming. It is easy to either browse through casually or to research something specific. The content is divided into five spaces reflecting the chronological development of Miró as an artist. Each of the five spaces has a different "feel" to it, produced by distinct visual and musical environments.

Another effective interface to the material is the Chronology section. A listing of years on the left side links to descriptions, photographs, and artwork thumbnails on the right. The thumbnails can be clicked on to bring up larger images of the works, along with explanatory text. One of my few complaints is that the images cannot be zoomed enough to show good detail. For Miró's work, with his highly textured paintings, this would be a nice feature.

The games are quite entertaining as well as informative. "Instructions" for the games are lacking, so you are encouraged to experiment in a highly interactive way in order to figure them out. They are almost more like puzzles. The educational aspect of the games leads one to a fuller appreciation of Miró's art, how it was created, and what it meant to express.

Indeed, this is the best thing about the CD-ROM: you can tell it was produced by a group of people with great respect and love for Miró's art. I highly recommend this CD-ROM not only for Miró fans, but for anyone who enjoys Modern Art.

See also: Miró images in The Artchive.






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