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About reality: Relations between museums and virtual reality1

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In this article we discuss how museums, as knowledge institutions, enable the public to use virtual reality (VR) as an instrument for exhibitions. Most current research is about integrating VR into the traditional frame of a museum to enable a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the displayed artworks. This happens because of a narrow view of the concept of 'reality'. To start this discussion we are going to broaden the concept of 'reality', and go beyond the most commonly used terms of real and virtual. We will study some case applications of VR in museums and the way it is understood, to then bring about the range of possibilities it has beyond the common use. We will work with the most widely accepted theories on museums and based on Roy Ascott's works we will present a deeper discussion on the topic of realities.
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Keywords: art museum; art, science and technology; digital arts; electronic arts; immersion; new media art; realities; virtual reality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000118972017 State University of Minas Gerais (UEMG)

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • Virtual Creativity (VCR) is an academic peer-reviewed journal focusing on creativity in online virtual worlds and other related platforms where the virtual is examined as a central theme in contemporary media art practices and applied contexts. Pieces exploring the subject of digital creativity are sought from the broad perspective of Art, Science and Technology, in what is a widespread field of discourse. One focus of the journal is an examination of creative activity in the metaverse - from art, design and architecture, to research and education, to play and entertainment. Additionally, Virtual Creativity seeks to engage with ways in which the virtual reflects upon the implications of the physical.
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