A great piece from Roger McKinley (Liverpool FACT in conjunction with ARtSENSE and Manifest.AR)


A large section of the cultural heritage sector not usually thought of as Cultural Heritage is the contemporary and temporary art galleries and spaces. Many such institutions do not have traditional collection mechanisms nor permanent artefacts and exhibitions, but rather a rolling programme constantly in flux. This represents a new challenge in terms of a systemised approach to learning and public engagement strategies, but also offers an opportunity to propose new learning and engagement mechanisms through the prism of its one unique selling point– the artistic creative engagement of artists and art practitioners. This paper examines the potential of Augmented Reality for the museum and gallery visiting experience focusing particularly on the ways through which AR as an emerging technology may inform emerging art practices all by encouraging public participation and engagement with art.

Keywords: museum, galleries, New Media Art, Augmented Reality, public engagement, visitor experience

What we find changes who we become. – Peter Morville

1. Augmented Reality, public engagement and new media art

Contemporary and new media art and artists typically occupy an interstitial place with respect to dominant or systematised approaches to heritage culture. As ‘insider-outsiders’ they simultaneously contribute to those structures and practices and critique them. A number of contemporary artists have started investigating the territories normally bound within carefully controlled systems by means of emerging technologies. They are generating new artistic modes of production that provoke and encourage a shift in established ways of creating, exposing, sharing and providing narratives.

Within this more fluid framework, several questions arise: How do we approach the processes of artistic creation in ways that embrace social technologies to personalise the museum and gallery experience? In this context, how does either the “invasive” or lightweight and potentially ubiquitous nature of AR technologies shape contemporary new media artistic creation? Can AR assist in passing from the “I” of the Artist to the “we” of participation to reshape the relationships between the public and the museum and gallery space? How can AR effectively expand the exhibition space outside the gallery’s walls and into the city? And how can all of the above change our perception of what may actually constitute a Museum?

This paper explores the design and curatorial strategy behind the upcoming exhibition, “Turning FACT Inside Out”, featuring multiple mobile AR artworks, interactions and installations conceived by the international artists’ collective, Manifest.AR and commissioned and curated by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool, UK. The exhibition and the work presented in this paper is taking place within the European ARtSENSE research project that explores the potential of Adaptive Augmented Reality for enhancing the museum and gallery visiting experience through the combined use of visual, audio and physiological sensors

read the full piece here…..


R. McKinley and A. Damala, ARtSENSE and Manifest.AR: Revisiting Museums in the Public Realm through Emerging Art Practices. In Museums and the Web 2013, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web. Published January 31, 2013. Consulted March 12, 2014 .