The contemporary American art world is thriving, as new and established artists continue to produce new and exciting works each year.
Major museums still boast thousands of domestic and international visitors, and smaller niche galleries are experiencing interest like never before.
Instead, first-rate galleries are turning to augmented reality to exhibit their art.
AUGMENTED REALITY provides a fresh, alternative visual experience to modern gallery goers.
What exactly is augmented reality?
Groundbreaking technology brings the flat image to life on the screen, showing users a realistic 3-D rendering of what the product or artwork looks like from various depths and angles.
For viewers browsing a gallery, augmented reality beyond adding the educational value, brings the novelty of discovering what mesmerizing image will pop up on your device generates interest alone.
There are some more reasons galleries prefer to adapt this technology.
1) Generate more interest in your gallery
It adds appeal to an untapped, technologically-savvy audience. The truth is, modern audiences need more than the visual stimulation of an intricate painting to hold their attention. In the age of smartphones, social media, and other forms of digital communication, it’s no wonder technology has made its way into the art world.
People are fixated on themselves and their online connectedness and types of art that were once deemed innovative are no longer generating buzz. Capitalizing on contemporary people’s obsession with technology, art galleries like Smart Objects of Echo Park in Los Angeles are turning to 3-D renderings to offer a unique, unprecedented experience for their visitors.
2) Bring iconic artworks, past and present, without the premium price tags
In the case of Chadwick Gibson’s Echo Park show titled “Armory Captures,” augmented reality proves an offbeat, curious approach to showcasing modern art. The gallery’s owner traveled to New York City and, using the free 123DCatch App, took 3-D pictures of nearly 80 works from the high-profile 2015 Armory Show.
His small gallery now features a number of strange, seemingly pointless symbols on the wall; however, when visitors scan the images, they are transported to NYC. Peering through the screens of their personal devices, viewers are able to appreciate those important art works—and best of all—for free. In an article for Hyperallergic, Gibson explains, “The original impetus behind the project was to curate a show with artworks that were unavailable to me due to their historical significance, market value, and geographical location” (Hyperallergic).
Indeed, “Armory Captures” makes available a viewing experience many have never been exposed to before, regardless of wealth or circumstance.
3) Keep you at the forefront of modern art showcasing
One way to generate interest in your museum is to go against the grain and embrace less popular methods of exhibition. Gibson and other’s integration of technology into galleries means a number of things for the future of the art world.
Many traditionalists bemoan the loss of the classical art-viewing experience, one that used to be deeply personal, intimate, and uninterrupted by a new text or tweet. But most people realize that the moves from actual reality, to virtual reality, and now to augmented reality—even in art—is inevitable.
People are simply unable to disconnect and unplug, even when they want to. To navigate the modern world is to be bombarded by technology, and for those who attempt to elude it, they inevitably miss out.
4) Add unexpected interest and value to your viewers’ experience
Perhaps audiences will come to view the addition of augmented reality in art galleries as a supplement to the experience as opposed to a replacement for it. After all, many of the most serious, lucrative of artists would agree that reaching the widest possible audience is always a positive goal.
With the wild popularity of smartphones and other devices for people of all economic circumstance, this is an opportunity to bring a once elite world to the masses. Americans’ love affair with technology may be borderline obsessive, but galleries all over the world are bringing augmented reality into their exhibits.
Famous locations like the Museum of Modern Art and the Omi International Arts Center have used augmented reality. Reviewers say that the exhibits’ additions are purely for artistic intent, and the final products are far from a gimmick. Viewers have appreciated the artistic value that augmented reality brings, piquing curiosity and making for thought-provoking dialogue.
5) Remove barriers of physical location and most importantly, money.
Beyond augmented reality’s changing of the viewing experience, it eliminates the problem of location. Instead of suffering the financial hardship of flying to a major city like New York, London, or even Gibson’s little Echo Lake storefront, technology brings art to the less fortunate.
For small storefronts or modest-sized museums, integrating the technology can also expand your offerings. Galleries that struggle to host certain exhibitions because of limited space are now dabbling in larger types of art, using augmented reality to showcase elaborate sculptures, moving art pieces, and more.
In perhaps one of the most popular instances of art and technology colliding, Brian August debuted a free smartphone application for his “110 Stories” project. With augmented reality, users could see a rendered image of the World Trade Center from any point in New York City. The emotional nod to 9/11 was provocative, bringing audiences an impressive visual experience while providing an outlet for their grief.
Consider integrating augmented reality into your gallery’s next exhibition, and you’ll surely benefit from all its added value and interest.
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