Virtual Reality Museums

Workshop
Michael Fischer, Stanford, USA

Published paper: A proposal for a virtual reality museum for virtual reality art

In this interactive session we will imagine and design a virtual reality art museum. The session will begin with the introduction of key concepts in virtual reality. We will then give an overview of how virtual reality is used in museums today. Participants will then break into smaller groups for a design session. To take the concept of virtual reality and art to the extreme, in our virtual museum we will showcase native virtual art. Native virtual art is not only viewed in virtual reality but is also created in virtual reality. Each team will think about one of the following topics:

1. Curation Team. In the real world, curation is limited by space and money. In the virtual world, though, what is the limiting factor on what should be included in a collection? Another question that can be asked is if in a virtual museum, should the museum experience be personalized to each individual visitor?
2. Gallery Team. The design of any gallery impacts how the art is experienced. In the real world, some galleries take the approach of using white walls so that the space doesn’t dominate the art. In a virtual museum, there doesn’t have to be walls at all. How will artwork be displayed in a virtual museum? How will visitors navigate between collections in such a museum?
3. Social Team. Museum visiting is fundamentally a social activity. The presence of others is an integral part of the experience. In the real world, these social interactions occur in real-time. In a virtual museum, social activity need not occur in real-time. How can we use this greater flexibility to enhance the visitor experience to the virtual museum? How can people share the art with their friends outside of the virtual museum?

At the end of the session, participants will share ideas and come together to make a digital blueprint of the virtual museum. This session is recommended for anyone that is interested in understanding the role of virtual reality in art. In addition, come meet other people interested in virtual reality.

Bibliography:
I'm a PhD student at Stanford in computer science. I study virtual reality and have a strong interest in art.