Introducing MWX2013 – new exhibition program for Museums and the Web

Freeman 1As part of this year’s conference, we are excited to introduce a new media exhibition component into the program.

In the spirit the “hypermedia installations” curated by Xavier Perrot that were features of earlier ICHIM events, MWX2013 presents a “prototype” exhibit focusing upon Augmented Reality. Museums and the Web‘s exhibition initiative is curated by Vince Dziekan, and our inaugural exhibition features works by John Craig Freeman, Future of Reality and Will Pappenheimer that emphasise how the innovative potentials of AR can be used for tactical intervention.

In recent years, thanks in large part to increased accessibility to the technology through proprietary and end-to-end services (such as Layar, Aurasma, Junaio), AR has become one of the most interesting areas of development in the “musetech” landscape. Today, the breadth of possible applications of augmented reality content in museum interpretation is represented by innovative projects spanning cultural heritage (such as the Pure Land augmented reality edition produced as part of the Digital Dunhuong project) and audience engagement strategy (the Site app produced by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney is just one example for amongst many). However, while the conception of augmented reality can be traced back to Adolfo Bioy Casares’ novel, La Invención de Morel (1940), artistic precursors of AR go back to the early mediated interfaces produced by Jeffrey Shaw (most illustratively Golden Calf, 1994) and the mixed reality environments created by Raphael Lozano-Hemmer (Body Movies, 2001).

AR 2The curatorial strategy for MWX2013 adopts an “interventionist” approach, inspired by how the work of these contemporary new media artists harnesses the potential of AR to create artworks with a deceptively playful, yet critical edge. The resulting exhibition is “blended” into the main program of MW2013 in Portland in a manner that we hope will both surprise and engage delegates.

Support for this project is acknowledged from the Australia Council’s Visual Arts Board, along with other institutional and contributing partners.

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