Insights EDU

Insights Live Highlights: XR Experiences in Museums and Art Galleries

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AIXR Team

08 Apr 2022 | 2 min read

Our most recent Insights Live webinar discussed the current use of XR experiences in museums and galleries. Our panel included Emma Cooper from Cooperative Innovations and Antoine Cardon from EL-GABAL. The panel was led and moderated by Panos Voulgaris from MALVI.

A growing number of institutions are taking an interest in XR. But how are they actually employing the technology in their installations and experiences? Our panelists explore the key issues highlighted below.

The Key Highlights

What are the main challenges working with institutions that are new to XR?

 

 

  • The pandemic has changed conversations around XR in this sector. Previously, there had been doubts about the potential to create a meaningful experience in digital spaces. But institutions have been forced to adapt.
  • A lot of museums and galleries have limited budgets and a lot of stakeholders.
  • Although some institutions are very digitally-savvy client education is often still an important consideration.
  • We need to do more to enable access to existing XR experiences to inspire curators and artists.

How can VR replicate or supersede the transcendency associated with the best physical galleries and museums?

 

 

  • There are fewer restrictions in a virtual environment which enables new and riskier experiences. 
  • It also enables means institutions can move beyond the constraints associated with a physical space to reach new audiences.  
  • But it is important to balance this with being conscious of whether an exhibit is designed to be object or place-based. For some institutions, the place is fundamental to the story they are trying to tell.
  • Replicating the human-to-human interaction central to traditional museum experiences is also more challenging in VR.
  • We need to spread awareness that VR is not being used to replace institutions but enhance them. 
  • VR experiences should not just be a digital twin of an existing institution because the experience will fundamentally not be the same. But this is not a negative and allows curators to tell more complex and different stories.
  • Digital experiences enable institutions to reach new audiences.  

Are curators and artists well-equipped to incorporate XR into their experiences? 

 

 

  • Digital skills and understanding elements such as the spatialization of data can be lacking in the cultural sector.
  • We need to demystify the technology and help curators and artists realize that in most cases the skills required are just an extension of skills they already have. To do this we should be actively encouraging dialogue between artists and technologists.
  • Artists or curators with limited experience can often bring an invaluable perspective to projects that developers cannot.
  • But distributing experiences to build awareness remains an issue. 

To explore more of what our Insights Live Webinars have to offer, visit our calendar and register for our upcoming episodes.

About the author:

AIXR is an independent, community first, not for profit organisation that exists to support individuals and companies of all sizes as the International trade body for immersive technology industries. AIXR or, The Academy of International Extended Reality, hosts the VR Awards annually. AIXR’s mission is to support individuals and companies in the immersive industry by endorsing, inspiring, and enabling innovators through removing barriers to entry and connecting a diverse collection of trades together.

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