Museums in the metaverse
Ever since Mark Zuckerberg spoke of the metaverse and Facebook’s name change, everything revolves around this virtual universe, which predicts a parallel life within it in a future that is already present. Imagination flies and thanks to the metaverse we can try on clothes from a store without leaving home or go to a concert from our sofa or work in a virtual office while staying comfortably at home. But did you hear about museums in the metaverse?
Numerous facets of daily life have joined this fashion (social health, culture, e-health or education) and the world of art has been at the forefront. The metaverse allows us to dive into a painting, to explore the objects and physical spaces of museums as part of it. Immersive exhibitions are a reality in the present. Barcelona already hosts several exhibitions of this type: Web3 castle, “Frida Khalo”, at the Center d’Arts Digitals (IDEAL); on the other hand, “Homo ludens”, which combines video games and works of art, and 3d exhibits Schaumburg.
Museums in the metaverse
Today, museums often take advantage of visitors’ devices by offering self-guided tours using their smartphones (Bring Your Own Device, BYOD). So Museum of the Streets, created in 2010 by the Museum of London, is a geolocation-based application that allows you to overlay physical locations on historical photographs while walking around London.
Among the most interesting and widely used tours are those organized by Google Arts & Culture, which were developed in collaboration with partner cultural organizations around the world. Through its collection of high-resolution images, Google Arts & Culture offers “microscopic images”, which means people can zoom in on masterpieces and examine hidden features or details in detail, explore a virtual gallery “in your pocket” or literally wander around some of the most famous arts at home.
Similarly, it is possible to have multiple encounters that, for example, allow users to take selfies to explore their resemblance to famous works, solve artistic puzzles, and bring culture to life by bringing it to life. These initiatives aim to provide visitors with closer contact with the art, facilitating playful interaction with the collection and (recovering) their sense of presence in relation to it.
Web3 Metaverse is also being used to explore personalized tours of collections via chatbots and to explore archives, recognize features, track audiences, and even re-introduce visitors to artists who may have died long ago. Created with Goodby Silverstein & Partners in 2019, Dali’s Life at the Dali Museum uses artificial intelligence to draw visitors to the realistic Salvador Dali in a series of displays in the museum’s galleries. As co-chairman Jeff Goodby points out, what we see is not an actor or a man in makeup, but Dalí Lives himself, whose strange presence is reconstructed from a series of photographs and films.
All of these examples illustrate how museums are experimenting with web3 technology to develop new types of encounters with art and heritage in order to develop more participatory immersive experiences. Some of these experiences enhance the viewer’s world by taking them to places that no longer exist, or that are too remote or dangerous.
Others encourage them to experience the work of art from the inside, or see elements of it that are invisible to the naked eye, for example via web3 site. Some suggest that you link the exhibition to the physical world or offer a multi-sensory experience. And some allow them to take on multiple roles and even create and/or curate their own exhibitions. There are platforms that use all these strategies at the same time,
Due to the introduction of digital art and/or digital platforms, museum spaces are not only transformed, but are literally characterized by the experiment of change and new movements. Museum spaces overlap with other exhibition spaces that are traditionally built as sequential (chronologically, by school, artist, or theme), with a clear start and end, and a deliberate order; or, as happened more recently, linking to facilitate exploration and wandering, they are superimposed on “deep” and augmented, performative and relational spaces. In these deep spaces, which are revealed not only in the museum, but increasingly in the metaverse, outside the museum.
Finally, remember that the digital museum space acts like a microscope and like a telescope. It increases, expands, approaches, allows the visitor to enter the work of art or heritage, to become part of it. The space created by the digital museum is hybrid and constantly changing. It transforms by moving visitors who interact with the collections and with each other in the physical and digital world.
The public not only learns about the art or heritage, but can also take on multiple roles through which it co-creates that art or heritage. What is at stake is not only art or heritage, but your very act of “presence” towards them. It is important to remember that although these places are considered accessible to everyone, the majority of the world’s population still does not have computers or the Internet.
We hope that the digital museum of the future will be able to eliminate this disparity in order to be present in this new type of space for in-depth visits, becoming more of a right than a privilege. These new spaces can be used to create new art stories, highlighting new collections or even art and heritage collections yet to be collected, helping visitors rewrite not only art history but history more broadly, including their presence. inside the process. becomes more a right and less a privilege.
These new spaces can be used to create new art stories, highlighting new collections or even art and heritage collections yet to be collected, helping visitors rewrite not only art history but history more broadly, including their presence. inside the process. becomes more a right and less a privilege. These new spaces can be used to create new art stories, highlighting new collections or even art and heritage collections yet to be collected, helping visitors rewrite not only art history but history more broadly, including their presence. Inside the process of creating museums in the metaverse.