I’ve never actually seen the Mona Lisa, and it’s a fair bet that most people reading this article haven’t either. Yet, according to Wikipedia, the painting is ‘the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world’. So how to account for the fame of an artwork we haven’t seen? And what have reproductions of Da Vinci’s sixteenth-century portrait got to teach us about time-based art and the online environment in 2015?
Hanging from the ceiling in my infant son's room is a mobile. At rest, he seems to scarcely notice its suspended figures, but a quick breath brings them to life and, drawn to their gentle twirling, his face brightens and body tenses with a laugh.