When new technologies come to the museum

Playful, poetic, surprising, unifying: augmented reality, virtual reality and new digital technologies have attracted museums for at least five years. Their merit is that they open cultural centers to new audiences and integrate technology and exchange, avoiding individual isolation, which is often pointed out when it comes to digital technologies. Let’s revisit some of the successful experiments of recent years and focus on the unmissable events to discover augmented reality in the coming months!

Augmented reality (AR) and other interactive technologies (VR, sensory, sound and olfactory atmospheres, etc.) have been rapidly developing in museums for several years, becoming a new opportunity for cultural institutions. And for good reason: these technologies allow not only to reduce the physical costs of installation, but, above all, to invest in new ways of interacting with the public.

These tools really greatly improve the experience of visitors who interact with the museum, works and artists with greater engagement. While some point to the danger of the art experience becoming more individualized, curators are actively thinking about how to make digital technology unifying and accessible to all.

A pioneer, the National Audiovisual Institute paid tribute to singer Barbara in 2018 and took advantage of augmented reality to promote the user experience at a lower cost. Thus, the app allowed visitors to scan the exposed portraits of the singer to discover exclusive content.

Since then, other experiments have proven their worth, such as Outside, an immersive exhibition offered at the Cité des Sciences de la Villette four years ago by Teamlab. Spectators could admire realistic waterfalls and other natural wonders with a message of environmental protection.

one Camargue in augmented reality by Fabbula

The most notable example was undoubtedly the Augmented Grand Palace, which in 2021 hosted five artists whose work could only be seen by downloading the Augmented Palace app. The exhibition featured works by artists who graduated from the tapestry schools and the cantonal art school of Lausanne. The curation was the result of a collaboration with Fabbula, a collective specializing in virtual and augmented reality.

In 2022 the magazine Fish eye teamed up with the Grand Palais to replicate the experience during the 2022 Palais Augmented festival.

Fabbula will also stand behind the exhibition Digital October – Make World 2022 will be held in Arles in October 2022. The theme for the 2022 edition is “Party Play,” which focuses on practices that create and strengthen relationships with the virtual. We will talk about the metaverse, sustainable blockchain, new virtual economies that respect the environment.

At the Trinitarian Church, the u2p050 team immerses us in a local and embodied installation in which each member of the ecosystem harmoniously participates in the global whole. At St. Anne’s in Arles, the festival team is preparing a video game room for artists to experiment with others. The augmented reality tour will show digital works in the iconic and unusual places of Arles and its surroundings – public squares, historical monuments and landscapes of the Camargue.

2 Our Lady of Eternal: Journey Through the Ages in Virtual Reality

If you are passionate about exciting and educational video games, amazing Assassin’s Creed and other mind-blowing creations from Ubisoft, you will rather enjoy virtual reality. A simple headset is enough to immerse yourself in a world that is so much more than just a screen: it’s a true 360-degree experience. Virtual reality, sometimes singled out as a technology that is experienced individually, is being revisited by museums that manage to make it collective.

That’s an exampleEternal Mother of God, a journey in virtual reality takes place in the basement of the Grand Arch of Defense. Thus, she invites us on an exciting journey through time to test ourselves together: for 45 minutes we find ourselves in the shoes of a comrade on duty who is present at the construction of the cathedral. We see how it develops over the centuries, as if we were there! The exhibition is open until September 4, 2022 and is worth a visit.

Useful information.

3 Immersion in Peru and virtual expedition to Machu Picchu

Within the framework of the exhibition Machu Picchu and the Treasures of PeruThe Cité de l’architecture in Paris has given life to an exceptional exhibition tracing 3,000 years of pre-Columbian civilizations. Particular attention is paid to the mysteries of Mount Machu Picchu. Among the masterpieces and sacred objects, these 190 original pieces from one of the greatest Peruvian museums are collected for the first time in France. Some have never left Peru before!

Augmented reality, which combines visual and audio digital content (texts, images, videos, 3D animated objects), allows you to combine virtual and real objects; while virtual reality takes the visitor into a monumental environment. Thus, this experience offers an expedition to Machu Picchu in virtual reality.

Open until September 4, 2022. Practical information.

four Industrial developments are explored in an alternate reality at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie.

Mixing several alternate reality techniques, exhibition Industrial developmentsuntil March 2023 at the Cité des Sciences in Paris sounds like mise en abîme: an innovative reflection on new technologies… made with the same technologies!

Sensory, emotional, auditory and visual experiences guide the visitor on this journey to discover the industrial developments of recent centuries. In seven rooms, called “pods”, you will find everyday items made from transformed materials: a tin can, a cotton T-shirt, a washing machine, a birth control pill, a drone, a smartphone, and energy. . Transformation and new intangible realities are the endpoint of this groundbreaking exhibition, culminating in a virtual debate between Elon Musk and industry critic Ivan Illich, moderated by René Descartes and Francis Bacon!

The message of protecting the environment is being proclaimed loud and clear, and all sensor technology is deployed to make it heard.

Useful information.

5 Immersive Grand Palais: the birth of a new digital exhibition space

Speaking of augmented reality, one cannot fail to mention the work of Immersive Grand Palais. A subsidiary of the Réunion des musées nationalaux and the Grand Palais, dedicated to the production and distribution of digital, immersive and innovative exhibitions, its goal is to make art accessible to as many people as possible by promoting digital innovation in all its forms.

From September 2022, a new digital exhibition space will see the light of day: in this way, the “modular hall” of the Opera Bastille will become an immersive Grand Palais and will offer two exhibitions a year. The first exhibition offered in this context at the beginning of the 2022 academic year will be Venice showed. It is produced in collaboration with the Musei di Civici in Venice and Iconem.

Thanks to the digitization and 3D modeling of Venice, created by Iconem in collaboration with the Fondazione civici di Venezia, the visitor will be immersed in the heart of the city of the Doge, a city conceived as a luxurious theatrical setting. Thus, he will travel through his palaces, along the Grand Canal, discovering his natural environment and his problems, his building technique, unique in the world. This scenario will give him the opportunity to better understand his history as well as his artistic legacy. Breathtaking images, created using the most innovative technologies and accompanied by an original musical composition, will amaze the audience, opening up the city before them.

©Tuesday8 – Idea Craftsmen, 2021

Immersive Grand Palais is offering until August 21, 2022. Mona Lisa, immersive exhibition in co-production with the Louvre at the Palais des Bourses in Marseille.

With this overview of museum offerings in digital reality, you will have enough to start discovering these new types of experiences. By redefining the economic opportunities of art institutions and reimagining the museum way of life, these initiatives, above all, strengthen ties with an audience that holds a different view of the world, inseparable from digital culture.