As technology continues to advance, it is leaving an impact on art exhibitions. Virtual Reality (VR) is one of those technologies that is shaping the way we experience and exhibit art. Museums and galleries are no longer limited by physical barriers, and artists can showcase their work to a worldwide audience without leaving their studios. In this article, we discuss the potential of virtual reality to transform the art world and look at some of the platforms and initiatives that are at the forefront of this change.
Exploring Art Through VR
Virtual Reality allows users to immerse themselves in a digital world that mimics reality. When applied to the art world, VR offers new avenues for educating, inspiring, and entertaining audiences. Just as with any media, the potential range of VR experiences for art is vast.
Here are some of the ways that VR can bring new options to art appreciation and learning:
- Art gallery tours: Laptops can work with various headsets, enabling tours of art galleries anywhere in the world.
- Google Earth: Google Earth offers 3D tours of some of the world’s most famous art installations.
- Narrated tours: Users can take part in narrated tours for an in-depth look at the art pieces featuring commentary from professional art critics.
- Funding program: Vive Studios intends to support and fund projects that bridge art and VR to enable further discoverability and appreciation for the arts.
- Museum tours: Applications allow exploration of world history and art at worldwide museums. Applications such as VR-All-Art create virtual 360-degree replicas of exhibiting museums.
- Google Arts and Culture: This application exhibits interactive virtual spaces that users can browse.
One notable platform is VR-All-Art, which creates and explores virtual reality art exhibitions. The platform provides support for a variety of VR headsets such as Oculus standalone headsets, HTC Vive headset, Google Cardboard, and even Android VR-enabled smartphones. Additionally, various other apps and tours, like National Geographic, NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions, and Google Arts and Culture, also offer users interactive experiences to view museums, galleries, and even space
Transforming Museums with VR
Virtual Reality has the power to revolutionize the way museums present their collections. Museums face the challenge of attracting and retaining visitors with varying degrees of interest in the artifacts they display. By implementing VR technology, museums break down physical barriers and change narratives to breathe life into artifacts that previously lacked interest from visitors.
Here are some notable examples of museums implementing VR:
- Smithsonian American Art Museum: In partnership with Intel, the museum created a virtual reality exhibit that anyone can explore.
- Vive Studios: With Somerset House and the National Palace Museum partnerships, Vive Studios has incentivized VR artists and game makers to contribute to a new wave of art.
- National Geographic: With VR educational experiences, users can embark on underwater adventures and explore ancient tombs.
- Georgia Aquarium: Provides an immersive VR environment that allows visitors to get up close and personal with marine life.
- Machu Picchu: Google’s Expeditions app has a VR experience that takes users on a guided tour of the ancient site.
- The Louvre Museum: Offers VR-guided tours of the museum’s artwork collection.
Additionally, museums are increasingly going online with the digitization of their exhibits, which includes virtual tours for the web, VR apps for smartphones and VR headsets, and AR apps for smartphones and AR devices. 3D-ace and other companies offer support for the virtual exhibit creation process.
The Role of VR in Art Exhibitions
While physical exhibitions may have traditional appeal, VR offers a new level of accessibility and affordability to a wider audience – perhaps even both online and offline audiences. Virtual reality experiences provide additional dimensions, depth, and interactivity that can make art installations more engaging.
Here are some benefits of virtual museums:
- Accessibility: With Virtual Museums, anyone can visit the exhibition without geographical or physical barriers to entry.
- Safety: With digital entities, art exhibitions and installations can be secure and safe from potential criminal acts.
- Affordability: Online exhibitions are less costly to maintain and often free for the viewer’s enjoyment.
VR offers possibilities for more interactive art exhibits that will appeal to the future visitor base, encompassing gamification-based virtual reality art exhibitions, virtual tours, and VR museum exhibits.
While virtual reality technology in art exhibitions is still being developed, it has the potential to open up the art world to even more people, and even offer opportunities to buy real art pieces on secure art marketplaces.
Virtual Reality has become a new frontier in the art world, and we are only beginning to see this technology’s potential. VR technology is transforming the way we view, consume, and interact with art. Advancements such as educational and cultural entertainment in VR platforms, digital exhibits, and secure art marketplaces are making waves across the art world.
Being able to understand and experience art without the constraints of distance, time, or finances cannot be underestimated. Virtual Reality is an innovation that offers us the chance to appreciate and enjoy art in new ways and permits more interactive experiences. As Virtual Museums become more prevalent, museums and galleries alike will no doubt embrace the potential of virtual reality to reach more visitors and offer a more engaging experience.