Augmented & Virtual Reality in Culture and Art

Dramatic Ways that Are Changing Imagery and Perception

With more immersive experiences available in  museums, it is impossible to deny the impact of augmented and virtual reality in culture and arts. Artists and cultural institutions can offer unique experiences that would have been impossible to achieve in the recent past.

The following examples illustrate just some of the ways VR and AR are transforming the arts and culture. They’ll likely inspire others to create similar experiences. This is only the beginning of a dynamic period for these fields.

Virtual Reality Art Exhibits are Already Common

Artists are always looking for unique ways to express themselves and share their ideas. They dislike being restricted by a lack of media with which to experiment. Because of this, many have been quick to embrace virtual reality in culture and arts.

Numerous VR-based exhibits have already been displayed throughout the world. At the 2017 Whitney Biennial, artist Jordan Wolfson used the intimate nature of VR to shock guests with “Real Violence,” a VR piece that depicted Wolfson committing a brutal attack on a stranger. Jon Rafman made a similar impression at the Berlin Biennale in 2016. His “View of Pariser Platz” depicted a tremendous explosion destroying the Berlin square. Even acclaimed Swedish art curator Daniel Birnbaum has stepped away from his more prominent work to focus on developing more virtual reality art exhibits.

Artists often want to generate some sort of emotional reaction in their audience. This can be difficult in a limited medium. However, because VR is so immersive, it allows artists to insert viewers into an experience. This can help them generate the intended emotional reaction.

Major Brands Embracing Augmented Reality Art Installations

Art and commerce have often been connected. It’s not uncommon for major brands to coordinate with artists when developing marketing content and customer experiences.

This is another instance in which augmented reality and the arts are a perfect fit. For example, Apple recently announced the company is going to coordinate with artists throughout the globe to develop augmented reality art installations to display in Apple stores.

Obviously, this will serve to attract more customers. It’s essentially a marketing campaign. However, it will also give consumers the opportunity to see just what an artist can create when factors such as space and materials no longer limit their vision.

Augmented Reality in Culture: A More Immersive Experience

The arts aren’t the only niche where VR and AR have potentially valuable applications. These technologies can be used to provide dynamic general cultural experiences as well.

With AR, users can insert 3D renderings of virtual objects into real settings. It’s easy to imagine how this can transform certain experiences. For instance, when touring a major city or cultural site, with augmented reality, a person could view the city the way it looked several years ago. This makes learning about cultural heritage and history much more interesting than it would otherwise be.

That’s not merely a baseless claim. There’s actually evidence to support the idea that people who generally aren’t interested in culture may engage with it to a greater degree when AR or VR enhance the experience.

Researchers recently designed a study in which participants were asked to explore an old model of a fortified church using AR technology. They were then asked a series of questions relating to their enjoyment of the process. After the study was complete and the evidence reviewed, researchers learned that the majority of participants reported that AR made the experience of learning about a cultural heritage more enjoyable. They also reported that AR improved the user experience in general. Clearly, educators and institutions could use virtual reality in culture to spark greater interest in these topics throughout the world.

Developing New Experiences with Augmented and Virtual Reality in Culture and Art

Anyone reading about these examples may realize this is an exciting time for the arts and culture. Although many have already used these technologies impressively, most artists are still just experimenting with them. In the near future, there’s a very good chance they’ll find even more innovative ways to make use of augmented and virtual reality in culture and arts.

Of course, they’ll need reliable applications to realize their visions. Such applications require an infrastructure that ensures consistent performance. Luckily, Ormuco’s autonomous platform enables for more processing power and accelerated video rendering for better immersive experiences.