Some highbrow types look down on the internet. Not us: we love it. And you’d be surprised by the cultural gems the web holds, from guides to upcoming exhibitions and shows to cool underground art blogs. PCAdvisor.co.uk forum visitors recommended their favourite culture sites.
Recommended by: CLS
The unified Tate website, which covers Tates Liverpool, St Ives, Modern and Britain, is as slick, cool and user-friendly as visitors to the galleries would expect. There are maps and comprehensive details of current and future exhibitions, of course, but you can also order reproductions, view videos of art commentary and take a virtual tour of either of the London Tates, clicking rooms that take your fancy and seeing images of the artworks within.
Recommended by: alan14
“The Guardian’s culture section is good for book and movie reviews,” writes alan14. And we wouldn’t stop there; it’s strong on music and theatre and excellent for television, if a little obsessed with ‘The Wire’.
The Guardian also does a nice line in quirkier features, such as acute and often vicious dissections of film trailers and Reel History, a witty series of articles on the accuracy of period productions.
Recommended by: James M Reith
Project Gutenberg, one of the oldest and most impressive of the internet’s achievements, is an ongoing scheme to digitise the world’s literature and make it available, for free or at a low cost, in widely available e-book formats. The project now has more than 30,000 texts, most of them in English, and there’s a vast body of public-domain works that you can read and download for free.
“An exceptional resource for the literary souls among us,” notes James M Reith approvingly.
Recommended by: K Fry
Run Riot is an esoteric listings site and weekly newsletter that deals with what it calls “cultural happenings”, focusing on fashion, art, philosophy, theatre, film and dance. Its origins and interests are clearly some distance from the mainstream, so don’t expect to read about Les Mis or Avatar; but if you’d like to keep up with London’s more bizarre cultural undercurrents, dive in.
Recommended by: sunnystaines
This umbrella site offers links to a range of culture-related news, listings and research services. It’s got a drier and more professional focus than most of the sites here (much of it is devoted to jobs and funding, for example) and its newness is apparent. But we like Culture.info’s unusually broad remit, which encompasses advertising, sport and gaming and a digest of cultural events and debates around the world.
Recommended by: Simsy
“TED stand for ‘Technology, Entertainment, Design’, and the site provides loads of interesting chats and presentations from various walks of life,” writes Simsy. “Just don’t log on if you’re about to do something else... you’ll never pull yourself away!”
Simsy was the first of several forum visitors to recommend this fantastic site. Select Entertainment and one of the ratings – ‘funny’, say, or ‘fascinating’ – and you’ll be presented with a range of talks and performances related to music, comedy, the arts and so on. Our favourites included a group of beatboxers and the poet John Rives riffing brilliantly on coincidences and conspiracy theories.
Recommended by: GANDALF <|:-)>
Toxel, GANDALF <|:-)>’s recommendation and “vain attempt to raise the ante”, is a blog devoted to the art of excellent and groundbreaking design. “I’ve always found Toxel to be stimulating,” he writes.
Those who are fascinated by the blurred boundaries between artistic and commercial design will find plenty to excite them, from anti-smoking adverts to a Lego Statue of Liberty.
Recommended by: TS Neame
This site combines listings of future artistic events with essays, photos, diagrams, poetry and general dissection of modern culture, zipping frenetically from Alain de Botton to the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens. “KultureFlash is clever, cool and a pleasure to read,” writes MAT. “Even if most of it probably goes over my head.”
Recommended by: Thomas Jenkins
For a look at the cultural activity of the past, try the British Museum’s online offering. Like the Tate’s site, it’s far more than a guide to visiting the building; there are also illustrated step-by-step articles, videos on a wide range of topics (such as the controversial Elgin Marbles) and masses of historical information tailored for adult and school-age learners alike.
Recommended by: Clare S
If you live in one of the world’s 50 or so largest cities (London and Edinburgh are the UK’s sole representatives) there’s a fair chance you already rely on Time Out’s print edition or website for planning your outings to galleries, shows and concerts. It’s an exceptional resource that allows you to search for specific events, browse tips of things to see or read reviews by people who’ve been there and done that.