Computer-based exhibition Crossing Over developed by 3D Encounters www.3dencounters.com, a partnership between UCL’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, IET, and Arius 3D is one of the exhibition’s new star items. Featuring artefacts that provide insight into the ancient Egyptian ritual of crossing-over into the afterlife, visitors to the exhibition will be able to interact with 3D models of rare and fragile artefacts in ways not possible in traditional museum exhibitions. Using 3D glasses viewers will experience the finest details of objects and turn them 360 degrees using enhanced zoom technology, all at the click of a mouse.
“In the future, the Petrie Museum hopes to expand its 3D exhibitions but also wants visitors to imagine a museum at their fingertips”, says Tonya L Nelson, Manager, The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. “Typically, objects in a museum display help tell a single story but as 3D images, they can be recontextualised to tell many stories, and become a valuable tool for curators, teachers or interested visitors, even in locations far from the physical museum.
Nelson continues, “This is especially important for researchers in museums and libraries around the world who may need to draw on Petrie objects to build their knowledge and expertise. Through this exhibit in Growing Knowledge, 3D images will have the potential to inspire a deeper, more diverse understanding of ancient culture, encourage museum visits and expand access to a broad audience.”
Growing Knowledge will also feature Riders Have Spoken, a work by Blast Theory which explores new ways of representing and providing access to location-related data and private and public media collected during an interactive artwork. Riders Have Spoken combines theatre with game play and state of the art technology and continues Blast Theory’s enquiry into performance in the age of personal communication.
As part of the project participants were asked to cycle through a city recording their answers to questions posed by artists. With thousands of recordings made in a number of different cities, the artists had to find a way of representing this intimate, highly participatory work in a visual way. Riders Have Spoken brings together these responses in an interactive way, allowing users to explore a city using the personal communication of the participant combined with local context, therefore demonstrating the usefulness of mapping personal research with local environments.
Aleks Krotoski, Growing Knowledge, Researcher in Residence, commented on these new additions to Growing Knowledge: “These new and unique ways of displaying objects and showcasing personal communication digitally is of immense interest to the Library and other organisations. It allows us to know whether or not this is the type of digital interaction that our researchers will come to expect from the Library of the future.”
Richard Boulderstone, the British Library’s Director of e-Strategy and Information Systems said: “These exhibits demonstrate the power of technology to allow the researcher greater access to rare and fragile items and new forms of communication. Showcasing this technology in Growing Knowledge will allow the Library to investigate in greater detail the benefits of these techniques to the research community in the future and will play a significant part in evaluating visitor responses to the exhibition.”
To coincide with the inclusion of these two new pieces, the Growing Knowledge research portals in the exhibition space and the related website component have also been refreshed. This will enable visitors to have enhanced access to the project platform, view a wider array of research tools, and discover ways of engaging with the exhibition by participating in an evaluation programme.
Showcasing some never-seen-before research tools, thought-provoking content and futuristic design in a fully interactive research environment, Growing Knowledge aims to challenge our audiences on how research is changing and ask what they want to experience from the library of the future. www.bl.uk/growingknowledge
Growing Knowledge, the Evolution of Research runs until 16 July 2011.
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