Med tem neverjetnim časom samoizolacije, ko sem že od sredine marca doma skupaj s svojo ženo, hčerkama (5 in 7 let) in psom, ki je skoraj brez dlak (čisto zares), razmišljam o tem, kako najbolje preživeti ta nepričakovani čas za medsebojno povezovanje, čeprav so možnosti za druženje omejene. Reči moram, da se trenutno stanje sicer ne razlikuje veliko od našega vsakdanjika. Moja žena je prevajalka, jaz pa počnem veliko stvari, večinoma pišem ali opravljam uredniško delo od doma, tako da smo navajeni biti skupaj v hiši v Sloveniji, kjer živim že več kot desetletje. Zaplete se, ker ne moremo iti ven in sta otroka ves čas z nama. Najina najmlajša hči obiskuje vrtec in nima obveznih nalog, najino starejšo hčer pa morava šolati doma. Sicer obiskuje 1. razred osnovne šole, a vseeno gre za novo rutino.

Kot profesor umetnostne zgodovine in nekdo, ki je navdušen nad poučevanjem svojih otrok ob vsaki priložnosti, to doživljam kot nekaj dobrega in ne kot nekaj, kar je pač potrebno opraviti. Je tudi izziv, ker sta moji hčerki v t.i. »samorog fazi« oziroma imata omejeno potrpljenje za aktivnosti, ki sicer niso neposredno povezane z njunimi interesi v tej starosti. A vendarle bi priporočal, naj imajo tako kot odrasli in starejši učenci, tudi mlajši otroci stik s svetom umetnosti. Obseg pozornosti mlajših otrok je sicer ožji, a če je nekaj zanimivo, je zanimivo.

Predlagam, da med obdobjem samoizolacije čim več potujete. Kaj mislim s tem? Obstaja ogromno virtualnih ogledov. Nekatere destinacije, ki so se v preteklosti zanašale na plačane vstopnice, so v tem času omogočile brezplačne virtualne oglede. Spet druge možnosti so bile brezplačne že prej, a tega nismo opazili. Vsak dan gremo z mojima dekletoma na virtualni ogled muzeja ali določene znamenitosti. Akvarij Georgia (Georgia Aquarium), Naravoslovni muzej v Washingtonu, New Yorku in Londonu (Natural History Museum, mojima dekletoma so všeč dinozavri), British Museum, Musee d’Orsay, Vatikanski muzeji – omenil sem jih le nekaj. In Machu Picchu, piramide, Veliki kitajski zid. Toliko člankov s povezavami do ogledov obstaja. Med njimi sta tudi ta v Guardianu (eden je za muzeje, eden pa za pokrajinske znamenitosti). Da bi ohranil zanimanje svojih hčerk, med virtualnimi ogledi klepetamo. Večinoma ju sprašujem, kaj vidita in kaj se jima zdi zanimivo. Če pozornost ohranita 15 minut, super. Če dlje, je prav tako super. Vedno poskušam ogled končati preden jima postane dolgčas, tako da ta izkušnja zanju ostane pozitivna. Odraslih in starejših učencev ne bo potrebno dodatno animirati oziroma zabavati. S pomočjo te aktivnosti se v tem času ne bodo le poglobili v umetnost in kulturo ter imeli občutek, da so produktivni (in ne pasivni), ampak bodo imeli občutek, da lahko »potujejo« preko zidov svojih domov. To je dober način, da se izognemo občutku zaprtosti in utesnjenosti v času samoizolacije.

Noah Charney je profesor, specializiran na področju umetniških tatvin in avtor mednarodnih uspešnic. Več o njegovem preučevanju umetniških tatvin najdete na www.artcrimeresearch.org, o njegovih knjigah in člankih pa na: www.noahcharney.com.

During this surreal time of self-isolation, when I’ve been at home for since mid-March with my wife, 5 and 7 year-old daughters and hairless dog (really), I’ve been thinking about how to best use unexpected bonding time with few external options. I must say that this is not all that different from our normal routine—my wife is a translator and I wear many hats  but mostly write and edit from home, so we are used to being all together at our house in Slovenia, where I’ve lived for more than a decade. The tricky part is not being able to leave, and having our children with us full-time. Our younger daughter is still in kindergarten, so has no work assigned, but we have to home-school our older daughter, a low-key affair as she’s in her first year of elementary school, but it’s a new routine all the same.

As a professor of art history, and someone who is enthusiastic about teaching my kids at every opportunity, I’ve been thinking of this period as a bonus, not a chore. It is also a challenge, because my girls are in the unicorn and slide phase, with limited patience for activities beyond what you’d imagine a 5 and 7 year-old would be into. And yet I’ve found that what I would recommend to grownups or older students to keep a hand in the art world works for them, too, just in much smaller doses time-wise. Their attention span is narrower but if something is interesting, it is interesting.

My recommendation is to travel as much as possible while self-isolating. What do I mean by this? There is a world of virtual tours available, some newly so, a nod to the current situation in which places that once relied on paid tickets have made virtual tours available for free. Others are regularly free, but we tend not to notice outside of this time of isolation. Every day my girls and I take a virtual tour of a different museum or landmark. The Georgia Aquarium, the Natural History Museum (in DC, New York and London—my girls are into dinosaurs), the British Museum, the Musee d’Orsay, the Vatican Museums, to name a few. And Machu Picchu, the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China. There are many articles that provide links, such as these two in the Guardian (one for museums, one for landmarks). To keep my girls entertained we chat throughout the virtual tours, mostly asking them about what they see, what they find interesting. If they’re up for 15 minutes, that’s great. If longer, also great. I always try to stop before they get bored, so to keep it a positive experience. For adults and grownup students, you’ll not need to be additionally entertained. But this will go a long way to not only feeling immersed in art and culture during this time, and feeling productive instead of entirely passive, but it also feels expansive. You can “travel” beyond the walls of your home, which is a good way to avoid cabin fever.

Noah Charney is a professor specializing in art crime and an internationally best-selling author. Learn more about studying art crime with him at www.artcrimeresearch.org and about his books and articles at www.noahcharney.com.