A note after reading an article, "How museums are using immersive digital experiences (pre- and post-pandemic By Lizzy Hillier"
How museums are using immersive digital experiences (pre- and post-pandemic)
By Lizzy Hillier
Museums and art galleries have been among the hardest hit since the coronavirus pandemic began. This is because the restrictions continue to hinder or completely reduce the number of visitors.
According to an October 2020 study, on average, American museums lost 35% of their usual operating income in 2020 and are expected to lose an additional 28% this year.
Here are some of the best examples of museums and galleries getting creative with digital experiences before and during COVID-19.
1. Virtual and augmented reality
Metropolitan Museum of Art 'Unframed'
In January 2021, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York teamed up with Verizon to create a series of virtual art and gaming experiences based on the collection that users with 4G or 5G smartphones can engage with from home.
The campaign features a rich digitally rendered gallery of some of the world's most famous works of art, with additional animations and interactive elements. Upon completing the various games found within the experience, users can unlock or 'unframe' their favorite pieces to display in their space via AR technology.
2. Louvre Museum – Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass
Arguably the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Unfortunately, this is a very small painting, measuring only 77x53 cm, so it can be difficult to get a glimpse of this masterpiece in the crowded surroundings. In fact, the painting was so popular that the museum limited viewing to 30 seconds per person before people were asked to move on.
To address some of these issues and make the experience of coming to see the Mona Lisa far more eventful and less rushed, the Louvre has implemented VR technology.
3. Take a Virtual Tour with Google Arts and Culture
Available for iOS and Android, the Google Arts and Culture app is like Google Street View for galleries and cultural points of interest. It can be implemented on mobile devices when viewing selected museum websites, allowing users to explore highlights or entire floors of these buildings in virtual reality.
Although they existed long before the pandemic, many museums have placed particular emphasis on apps over the past year as a way to connect with patrons while they are unable to visit in person. The app's appeal is apparent during a pandemic. Because while you're stuck at home, you can virtually visit the gallery, as well as provide free educational content. However, it is also useful for overseas travelers who cannot normally visit, or those who want to enjoy a leisurely gallery tour without being disturbed by other visitors.
4. Grayson's Art Club – Exhibition
Grayson's Art Club took British TV by storm in 2020. Broadcast weekly on Channel 4, famed artist and national treasure Grayson Perry has set his sights on 'bringing the nation together through the arts' in response to the coronavirus crisis.
5. Online classes, talks and events
#OurBrokenPlanet at the Natural History Museum
Other institutions have hosted their own (often free) online classes, lectures and events, especially in light of school closures and public holidays under lockdown.
6. Interactive creative space
Cleveland Museum of Art – ArtLens Interactive Studio
Cleveland Museum of Art takes interactivity to the next level with ArtLens Studio Play. The studio, based in a room within the gallery, includes a variety of screen-based activities that require physical movement of the body.
7. Immersive direct display
National Museum of Singapore – 'The Story of the Forest'
The installation had a fairly unpretentious appearance and only basic information was displayed at the entrance. Whether this was intentional or not, upon entry made the whole experience even more amazing.
8. Meet Vincent Van Gogh
Meet Vincent Van Gogh was the last exhibition I was able to attend before the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK. An early 2020 pop-up based on London's Southbank, the massive marquee contains some of Van Gogh's most famous and interesting works, accompanied by a series of interactive digital attractions that help tell the story of his life.
Myungja Anna Koh