In our rapidly developing digital world, the fields of art and technology clash with reality more than ever before, so that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have quickly turned into powerful media in the hands of artists and creators, to express their visions. In a way that helps them engage with audiences on a whole new level.
A fleeting glance at this exciting world is enough to reveal to us the extent of the impact of these interactive technologies on contemporary art, and on how museums and art galleries deal with these rapidly spreading technologies that have reached the Palestinian art world.
Augmented Reality, often abbreviated as AR, refers to technology that adds additional digital content to the real world. Whether it is through smartphone applications, AR glasses, or virtual reality glasses, artists have discovered innovative ways to create interactive and dynamic artistic experiences in the world of art, and virtual reality technology has opened the door wide for them to jump to the extreme limits of creativity.
Contemporary art has pushed the boundaries of expression beyond the traditional context due to augmented reality, which is characterized by its ability to integrate actual and digital elements, so it has become a “canvas” or a modern and special kind of canvas for artists. The possibilities are endless in this context. Imagine walking in an imaginary or even real city and seeing a mural on the street that turns into life, and even interacts as you pass by it. Rather, imagine entering an interactive art hall where the artworks interact with your presence in the hall.
A simple example: imagine yourself in a hall in an art gallery or museum, displaying the painting “Almond Blooms” painted by Van Gogh, and the painting embraces you, and you become a part of it, and almonds fall on your head and around you! This fusion of reality and the imaginative touch that enhances its presence and makes it more lively and dynamic is not only modern technology but also magical. For this reason, contemporary art is embracing AR tools and technology as a magic wand that can express oneself like never before.
Virtual world fantasies
As for Virtual Reality, known for short as VR, it in turn provides a fully immersive experience, where viewers are transported to completely digital environments. It does not improve reality or change its details to enhance it and make it richer, as in the case of virtual reality. “AR”, rather, he creates a different world out of pure imagination, with no basis at all in reality.
This technology changed the world of art, as it allowed artists to create entire worlds that could be explored and interacted with. It became a benign fantasy to escape the fever and diseases of reality.
Now, you do not enter a museum or an art gallery, to live inside a real Van Gogh painting for a few moments in a richer way and style than was the case before, but rather you create an entire world, let it be an entire planet, and fill it with whatever you want and however you want, all your fantasies and fantasies, now they are… Realities that you can inhabit, after they were the ones that inhabit you. Just wear one of the virtual world glasses and escape.
Art galleries and museums in the digital age
Art galleries and museums have adapted to the huge leap imposed on us by the digital age. The emergence of what is known as virtual world art (VR) and augmented reality art (AR) has changed the artistic landscape and even the boundaries of the traditional geographical spaces of galleries and museums, as virtual tours and immersive experiences have made art available to a global audience without the need to travel or move, and it is no longer Art museums and art shows are now limited to geographical locations and are even available from home. And of course, this change has allowed artists and audiences to connect across borders in ways never seen before.
For example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, one of the most famous museums known for preserving and displaying art from different eras, has entered the world of augmented reality and virtual reality. It is no longer limited to the physical walls of the building but is now available from anywhere in the world.
Now, with the help of augmented reality technology, visitors can understand works of art more deeply, while virtual reality allows them to explore historical periods and interact with art in a way that was not possible before, as if they were inside the building and experiencing for themselves the exhibition spaces in a way that opens new doors for education and engagement.
The global art community has immersed itself in augmented reality and virtual reality as innovative tools for artistic expression and bridging distances between continents and cultures, and as artists continue to experiment with these technologies, we are about to experience new dimensions of art, creative experiences, and even the ability of the human imagination to create different worlds.
Art, previously restricted to the physical buildings of museums and galleries and the geographical boundaries of states and countries, has now moved into an all-access digital world, while museums and art galleries have leveraged the potential of technology to reach a wider audience.
It can be said that there are now two giant portals in the world of art, augmented reality and virtual reality, each portal leading individually to an unprecedented world of art and creativity.