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published: April, 2002
The Museum of Pure Form
Demonstration: Demonstrations 1
Although the tactual exploration represents an important mean for fully appreciating some features of sculptures, it is usually not allowed to touch works of art at museums, which means significant restrictions for visitors. A European research project (PURE-FORM), coordinated by PERCRO, indicates a potential solution. Its intention is to make possible tactual exploration of virtual 3D copies of works of art.
Within the project, that started in September 2001 and will go on for three years, experts on technology, computer software and perception will, in cooperation with art museums, develop a digital virtual repository of sculptures and haptic displays for this purpose. Haptic displays are systems devised to exert a controlled force on operatorís hand, capable of creating a perception of touch with virtual objects, by artificially conveying tactile\force stimuli to the operator.
A selected set of sculptures belonging to the collection of partner museums will be digitally acquired to create a digital database of artworks copies, that will constitute the core of a new web-base computer network among partner museums and other European cultural institutions. It is worth noticing that the high resolution achievable nowadays by 3D scanners makes possible to obtain accurate models of object surfaces.
The final goal of the project is the creation of virtual library of statues that is accessible at all museums having the necessary equipment.
After the completion of the virtual gallery, it will possible to touch virtual 3D copies of sculptures, either with the statues in direct sight or together with visual representations of them.
The PURE FORM project is just the first step to verify the possibility of the use of the tactile and force feedback in the Cultural Heritage field, to develop systems for an interactive network of platforms, which could offer an innovative paradigm of interaction with Art.
On occasion of the MW2002 conference PERCRO would like to organize a demonstration session illustrating the contents of the project with particular reference to the VIRTUAL GALLERY of the digitized works of art.