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XR Summit


Day One

Down the rabbit hole

Alice’s Wonderland is a recurring storyworld in creative and technical innovation and was the obvious starting point for developing a new VR experience for the V&A’s Alice: Curiouser and curiouser exhibition. The V&A and PRELOADED will share insights from creating Curious Alice, an award-winning VR experience that invites people to tumble down the rabbit hole and embark on a mind-bending trip into Wonderland. They’ll explore how extending Alice’s adventures in a new digital dimension, using emerging technology has helped push the boundaries of traditional storytelling.

Leveraging Digital for "Revealing Krishna"

The Cleveland Museum of Art has been developing the exhibition Revealing Krishna, a first of its kind, scholarly art exhibition with 4 separate digital elements opening November 2021. The 4 digital components represent a cross-collaborative effort. The museum is engaging multiple partners, to tell the story of the CMA’s monumental sculpture Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan, both within the context of the landscape and sacred space from which it came, and its captivating history, restoration and reconstruction with immersive projections, elegant, interactive 3D models, and a mixed-reality experience using Microsoft HoloLens 2’s.

Your future is in the hands of your face

As new technologies are being integrated into the policing of borders, how will the machines judge our performance? A Face to Open Doors is an interactive installation commissioned by IWM for their Refugees Season (2020/21).

Inspired by technological trials within the immigration system, this future artifact houses an Al guard who makes decisions based on your emotional responses.

An ambitious project co-produced by award-winning immersive artists Anagram and the Imperial War Museum – this talk unpicks the techniques that bring this controversial subject matter to life, how technologies can be effective in storytelling and the process behind the collaboration.

VR Learnings from the Anne Frank House

In 2018 the Anne Frank House launched a VR-app for the Oculus GO and in 2019 a version for the Oculus Quest.

Charlotte was the project manager of this project and will tell you about the choices why the Anne Frank House wanted to make a VR-app, the process of making such an app and how it’s been used so far and what the impact of COVID-19 was.

New approaches for arts and culture engagement beyond the museums wall

Cultural institutions had to reinvent their engagement with visitors during these unprecedented times. The lack of visitors’ physical presence pushed the institutions to increase their online presence and produce more diversified online digital content and experiences, from VR tours to live streaming sessions.

There is still room for reinvention and ways to explore exhibitions and art in and outside the institutions. There is also a real concern about the monetization channels associated with online digital content.

The travel “impairment” needs to be addressed. The exhibitions and art in general have to be visible everywhere, not only in the galleries. Moreover, they have to be persistent and explorable by nearby audiences and produce revenues streams for cultural institutions.

In this keynote, Ciprian Melian will present new collections and exhibitions exploration approaches through XR, with accessibility, game mechanics, and monetization as core values.

The “FTA” upcoming solution by Livdeo may be considered as the “Strava of art”. Every wall or physical space becomes a place to explore exhibitions created by cultural institutions and contemporary artists.

The artworks from 400+ institutions are represented in different XR layers letting nearby audiences engage in 10+ languages and different interpretation layers.

The game mechanics are the core of the visitors’ XR experiences.

Through exploration progression metrics, challenges, and awards, XR visitors become more and more engaged with the artworks, artists, and cultural institutions and become real supporters.

Winning wider audiences with great VR stories: lessons from the BBC VR Hub

Which stories work best in VR, and what are the best ways to provide cost effective VR in museums? The BBC VR Hub created a slate of award winning content and commissioned unique research to understand how to make VR work for wide audiences. Immerse yourself in the latest research on what makes stories stick and how to engage your audience in new ways.

Neurological Perceptions of Art through Augmented and Virtual Realities

Ever since Walter Benjamin published his influential essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” in 1935, the art and cultural world has been fascinated by what makes art “real.”

In light of advancements in AR and VR technology, this session revisits questions about how people experience art through various forms. We will expound upon a ten-month research study conducted by a team of neuroscientists, supervised by MIT faculty, which examined the emotive responses to original artworks, as compared to their AR and VR equivalents.

The study sits at the intersection of tech, neuroscience, arts + culture, and museum studies, and represents the pinnacle of how cross-disciplinary research can deliver fresh insights to the museum sector.

Making sense of VR storytelling and how it can serve the arts

Through the lens of storytelling, I’ll explore how VR storytellers and cultural institutions can partner to tell exciting and engaging educational stories and what VR storytelling can bring to the exploration of the arts.

What if you could put on a VR headset and instantly transport inside a museum?

Even though VR has been on the scene for years, many museums are hesitant to engage with the new medium.

For marginalized communities nearby, 360 video and VR have the potential to provide the museum access many have dreamed about but were denied.

Join Kai of Kai XR to learn how Immersive technology is breaking barriers.
Learn about the basics of 360 and VR technology as you explore the world with her virtual field trips to museums, monuments, and more!

Day Two

How we survived our first AR experience

Sometimes things are not so easy and obvious as they seem when dealing with art and technology.

Discover the complexity, challenges and key issues of how AR can be introduced as an element that contributes to the creation of contemporary art and a way to enhance the visitor experience based on our experience with Like Beauty in Flames, one of the latest works by Jenny Holzer, made exclusively for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, where the artist displays three distinct AR experiences that presents her signature text-based art.

War Stories, Empathy and AR

School students can create their own AR experiences as emotive responses to the award winning exhibition ‘Gallipoli: The Scale of our War’ at Te Papa Tongarewa the National Museum of New Zealand. The Learning Team at Te Papa have been flipping the narrative about conflict in the First World War by focusing on the emotional experience and impact on men and women who served during the Gallipoli campaign.

How I accidentally became a VR director (and how you can too)

Technologies like AR, VR and Mixed Reality can often seem expensive, overwhelming and out of reach for Museums. However, by taking an experimental approach that embraces failure, encourages collaboration, and focuses on story, Museums can explore unique applications of new technologies to create unforgettable experiences.

ChinaTOwn: Virtual Reality Community Storytelling

Most of us have visited a Chinatown on our travels, or even have one in the place(s) we call home. Since their beginnings these enclaves have been a space for communities to gather and people to live, all while under threat by external forces trying to define them.

Presented in partnership with Myseum of Toronto, ChinaTOwn is a community storytelling project that explores community building and resiliency through virtual reality. By combining 3D scanning and modelling, archival materials and speculative fiction, this project aims to empower communities to redefine what’s been involuntarily defined for them; past, present, and future.

Sponsors Presentation: Okta Studio

How can VR bring a painting to life and a whole new audience?
We’ll show how Okta Studio created the 20 minute VR experience Trail of Angels inspired by a single painting and how this innovative production weaved together the artists’ pictures and musical compositions to create an award-winning 20min guided narrative.

How to offer personalized tours by world-renowned experts to every visitor
We’ll show how we used a volumetric capture studio to record TV historian Mike Loades guide to a British castle, enabling every visitor to have a private tour by an expert.

Bringing a lost city neighborhood back to life with CGI and VR.
Okta Studio was commissioned to create a series of 40 animations and VR experiences to tell the history of Lithuania’s capital Vilnius. We’ll show how we created this series and how it’s helping to reveal the history of this city to a new audience.

Digitally Reimagining Arts & Culture

Taran Singh shares lessons learnt from working with arts and cultural organisations to successfully reimagine museum and arts spaces, digitally displaying relics, artwork and artefacts to inspire and engage audiences.

AR projects - Affordable and Sustainable

AR projects are very attractive for museum visitors, especially for the ones who do not know the technology yet. But can such projects go beyond an initial “wow”? Are they sustainable? And if so – are they also affordable for small and mid-sized museums? How can the usage of AR strike the balance between entertainment and learning? At the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau, Switzerland, we have decided to add AR to our basic education toolkit. We have launched our first AR show on May 9th this year. In our presentation we would like to share our learnings with you.

Engaging kids with AR - MUNCH Museum's Immersive Journey

In 2019 The MUNCH Museum, Norway, came to us (Digital Catapult) with a fundamental question. “How do we go about using immersive technology to engage our youngest audiences outside of the museum?” Join this session to understand how to take your first steps into the world of commissioning and developing new XR tools and services to attract new audiences and engage them in a totally new user journey.

One of The Futures of Museums is Online

A new space to engage with digital art in the comfort of your home. Together with friends, while apart. A place for discussion, critique, or just to hang out. Emphasize scale, context, understanding, and connection.


Day Three

Revealing XR - cost efficient XR experiences for cultural preservation

While the term “XR” often suggests complex, expensive 3D worlds, sometimes it’s best used for simple, low cost effects that reveal specific, hidden truths. Science Gallery Venice teamed up with the Netcher EU project on cultural preservation in order to create four SparkAR effects that reveal the stories behind famous works of art and their histories of loss or preservation. Simple yet revealing, these effects work online, at home, or in the gallery, providing a truly multi-modal XR experience. Most of all, they reveal aspects of the artworks that can only be conveyed in XR.

Augmenting small museum exhibitions

When we decided to refresh our crime scene exhibit we made the decision to do things a little differently. Our physical diorama was tired, easily vandalised and difficult to dust. So, we partnered with Immerse Enterprise to design a state of the art, interactive, Augmented Reality powered exhibit. Our new ‘crime scene’ is much more accessible with dynamic content that visitors can access on their own devices and at their own pace. And the floor markers are much easier to vacuum.

Developing Augmented Reality storytelling platform

Ericsson, the global leader in communication technology and The Estonian Maritime Museum have launched a full-scale pilot of a 5G Augmented Reality storytelling platform. We believe this pilot represent the first step in revolutionizing the museum visit by using Augmented Reality, 5G and Edge computing.

Considering VR? Learn What We Learned From Our Projects & Visitors!

Embarking on a Virtual Reality project can be a daunting experience. But the joy of launching the project for visitors is matched by the opportunity to take what you’ve learned and do it better next time. We will try to be your first time. We’ll talk about the project goals, the pitfalls we discovered during production, and how we arrived at solutions. You’ll leave with a list of things to watch out for, to steer away from and toward, so you can avoid or at least prepare for the problems that we faced in producing VR experiences.

AR as a mediation tool: adding value to collections and raising awareness

What can augmented reality (AR) bring to a museum space? What value can it add to the existing collections?

We will present how AR can be used as an efficient mediation tool to offer visitors an enhanced experience of the museum, both educational and entertaining, and how it already constitutes an economic opportunity for cultural sites. Today, augmented reality is capable of fantastic feats: it is now possible to give material presence to humans, animals, historical scenes, places, or settings. More than just a technology, it constitutes a new way to tell stories: our imaginations can explore a limitless space, expanding our potential exponentially.

To illustrate the conversation, we will present our new AR experience called “REVIVRE” (“To Live Again”), coproduced between the National Museum of Natural History and SAOLA Studio and taking place in June 2021

From storytelling to story-doing

XR technologies create radically new types of experience – audiences feel physically embodied in the storyworld, empowered to take control and do impossible things. This raises big challenges for traditional storytellers. This is art without the frame, film without the screen and theatre without a stage – where audiences can find their own narratives and make their own meaning. This talk will propose collaborative worldbuilding and transmedia storytelling as the creative processes required for organisations to approach new XR experiences – combined with an understanding of the weird and wonderful effects these technologies really have on our brains and bodies!


Solving museums' challenges with immersive experiences

Immersive technologies are an efficient way for museums to reinvent themselves, attract a new public, and generate new revenue. To illustrate this potential, we will discover several use cases and dive into Immersive Expeditions, a museum-dedicated VR format that proposes to visit, as a group, the cultural and scientific heritage of mankind.

Pandemic Prototyping & Augmenting the Art Gallery

What happens when a traditional art museum brings individual works of art to life through digital interactivity? This talk will show visitors how Norton Art+, a new augmented-reality (AR) iPad app, helps visitors more deeply engage and create with six featured contemporary artworks, from Nick Cave’s Soundsuits, to Ugo Rondinone’s whimsical faces in our Sculpture Garden. Be the first to get an inside look at the Norton Art+ augmented reality app design and features!

Social XR: The Future of Museums

Social VR is valuable to the future of museums! Watch a LIVE demonstration of the newest Social World Building VR platform. Facebook Horizon Pre-Alpha Community Creator; Paige Dansinger, founder of Better World Museum and Horizon Art Museum, will introduce Facebook Horizon (beta) to MuseumNext. This fun presentation will include re-creating an audience member’s favorite work of art with primitive shapes. Paige will show how easy it is to make it interactive with gizmos and simple block scripting. Ultimately, this demonstration will make you believe that social world-building may play a valuable part in the future of your museum.