Russo, University of South Australia
This paper will discuss ideas of object representation within the museum,
addressing the fragility of object collections, and will explore the
potential of virtual reality technologies to define new ways of viewing
museum space and display. The system of organising and classifying object
collections is regarded as the core of museum activity as a cultural
institution. But these very same collections are susceptible to heat,
dust, light all of which result in collections spending most of their
time in storage sheds away from main museum buildings and display spaces.
The introduction of virtual environments within the museum may be the
answer to displaying more of the collection more often. Virtual museum
spaces which allow objects to be chosen from databases and viewed within
contextual environments could see the creation of intriguing virtual
museum spaces constructed individually for each new visitor.
Virtual museums may provide the potential for all object collections
to be viewed randomly anytime a visitor enters the virtual space.
Display spaces in turn could be programmed to construct themselves
at the moment of perception and events take place without curator
anticipation of visitor interests. Dynamic database driven vrml which
'learn' the habits and likes of the user are being developed at the
same time that virtual reality software is allowing construction of
virtual spaces in real time. RoboCam technology which surveys physical
space from a given point has the potential to overlap both physical
and virtual environments.
This paper will focus on the dichotomy between real and virtual
museum space and object representation within that space.
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