A Museum Made Digital
Ian Potter Museum of Art
Siii Projects, in collaboration with the Ian Potter Museum of Art, has worked to digitally capture and reproduce artefacts from the University of Melbourne’s Art Collection’s Classic and Archaeology Collection.
Through design studio teaching within Melbourne School of Design’s Master of Architecture program, Siii Projects asks students to apply a variety of advanced 3D scanning techniques to capture and archive the collection, and to work with the Ian Potter Museum to develop new modes of representation using virtual and mixed reality technologies. The studio aims to open up the hidden archive of the museum to a public audience and explore the value of virtual reality design in this context.
“The quest to catalogue and preserve the world's cultural heritage in the midst of both environmental and political turmoil are leading museums and cultural organisations to turn to digital reproduction tools like 3D scanning.”
The pressure to reach and engage with an ever widening public audience and the quest to catalogue and preserve the world's cultural heritage in the midst of both environmental and political turmoil are leading museums and cultural organisations to turn to digital reproduction tools like 3D scanning. Looting, urbanisation, mass tourism, armed conflict and climate change are factors contributing to the damage and destruction of irreplaceable sites where cultures emerge, languages develop, and civilisations thrive.
The Ian Potter Museum of Art has recognised the value of 3D scanning to record and reproduce its collection to overcome issues of accessibility and public engagement. It is estimated that between five and ten percent of the worlds art objects held in museums are on display at any one time. Using advanced technologies such as LiDAR laser scanning, photogrammetry and virtual reality, museums can begin to offer new forms of remote engagement, experience and study of its collection, uncovering artefacts typically stored in archive drawers and storage units.
The value of the use of digital reproduction in the recording of art information is still emerging, its true impact still in question. We can, however, speculate on the impact that the speed and shear size of the prospect of the worlds digital museums. Future digital archaeologists digging away in the dark corners of run down internet servers, uncovering information culture, dusting it off and representing it in virtual museum archives as cultural heritage. Observing and studying copies of copies of copies.