As I have oft remarked on this blog – the museum paradigm of the last 20 years is being pulled like warm toffee into all sorts of strange and delicious configurations. Technology is aiding the white cube revisioning in a big way and is even starting to demonstrate that something before your eyes is not necessarily something before your eyes.
Speaking of which, here’s an intriguing exhibition that MOMA has nothing to do with – yet you cannot see it unless you actually go to MOMA. Whaaaa?? The term augmented reality refers to a view of the natural world through an electronic filter (like using the camera lens on your IPhone); the “filter” actually augments the scene you are viewing with predetermined visual effects, blurring the line between your “reality” and your computer enhanced experience.
If the museum is traditionally the pseudo environment that helps us to determine how we categorize and evaluate our “real” (outside the museum) world, then app functions like augmented reality are flipping this model on its head. The museum can be compartmentalized and viewed through the pseudo environments created on our personal electronics. love it.
And this is what has happened at MOMA recently. A rogue augmented reality exhibition actually appeared to add certain works to the galleries, or alter those objects already on display. I don’t know the details of who created this, and unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of experiencing this myself – but I will be looking out for this in the Bay Area. It is about personally curating an art experience and quite literally needing to be present in the gallery to complete the work via the filter.
We already perceive and interpret artwork in unique and multivalent ways, but augmented reality in a museum setting actually can enable viewers to visually alter artwork and therefore engage with the work, the museum, and the exhibition as never before.