Immersive art exhibitions generate different expectations and reactions. The public visits them out of curiosity, because it is fashionable, some mistakenly expecting to see paintings and the vast majority to experience new sensations.

In Barcelona, the first two “immersive” exhibitions held last year, “Meet Vincent Van Gogh” and “Monet experience” — left many confused and quite disappointed. To learn about the situation in other countries, I traveled to Florence to meet the Italian artist Stefano Fake. Luckily, our meeting was in late January, just before the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Stefano Fake is a contemporary video artist. In the last 4 years he has created 20 immersive art exhibitions in different cities in Italy. His works travel around the world and his art is one of the most hash-tagged and loved by Instagrammers.

Stefano’s studio is located in the most Renaissance neighborhood in Europe. Very close to his office are Michelangelo’s David, Brunelleschi’s gigantic dome and the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important art galleries in the world. In a setting of classical art and renowned artists and architects, between narrow streets, just 50 meters from the Vecchio Bridge…

Source: Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera

Silence, shadows, screens. In the exhibition of video artist Bill Viola there are no museum objects or displays. The screens hanging on the walls, in which you can see portraits and landscapes, represent the digitally born cultural heritage that cannot be touched, only felt.

To feel the atmosphere created by the organizers in full depth, you have to stop, go slowly, without hurrying. The feeling of being in a sacred place is created. The mystical living paintings are found among the leaning columns of Gaudí. …

Stepping into water dyed with colors, swimming underneath a digital waterfall or diving under a pool of candies, are the first experiences that make you dream, feel and have fun in a space.

Mori Art Digital Museum. (Source: Irina Grevtsova)

What does experience mean in the context of cultural tourism? The experience is an act, something that happens, that produces an emotional impact and leaves an impression on someone.

Exhibition design ceases to be purely aesthetic and rational. Spaces appear to be festive and have a large performance-style format. Through the projections and physical scenography, multi-sensory routes and immersive experiences with great emotional impact are created.

The 7 Cultural Experiences is only a selection of the experience market which is in pure expansion.

1. Immersion in digital art

Current digital exhibits are in essence a sampling of the fusion between art, technology, and immersion. They are large-format audiovisual performances created through video projections. …

Often digital museums are compared with theme parks or entertainment spaces. The mega projections, multimedia technology and the amplified sound systems make digital exhibitions appear to be more like a blockbuster performance than a museum exhibition. But it isn’t just how digital technology is presented and experienced, there are many other parameters which influence the visitor’s experience and mold their memories and opinion afterwards. In this post, I will share my personal experiences with my visit to the MORI Building Digital Art Museum in Tokyo

Museum or Theme Park?

When we think “museum”, we imagine ourselves in the historic center of a city or surrounded by modern buildings constructed for the purpose of experiencing art. MORI is a different story. It is located in the shopping and entertainment district of Odaiba on an artificial island an hour away from Tokyo. The train leaves you at the entrance to a large shopping mall. There, on the second floor, next to the Toyota Showroom, in front of the Ferris wheel, between shops and fast food restaurants, MORI is found.

Interior view of the Palette Town shopping center

The growing trend of immersive digital exhibitions has suddenly become a worldwide phenomenon. The proof of this is the opening in 2018 of two digital museums: the MORI building Digital Art Museum in Tokyo and the l’Atelier des Lumière in Paris.

Recently I was fortunate to visit one of them, the MORI Digital Art Museum in Tokyo. The concept, the rooms full of diverse multi-sensory experiences, the immersion and the active participation of the visitors, makes this museum unique. …

A high ticket price and the organization behind the exhibition of a famous museum is not always a guarantee that the digital exhibition will be immersive. Visitors purchase tickets expecting to live an experience that submerges them in the world of digital visual art, but to create an immersive experience, large scale projections or high-resolution digital images are not enough. The space must be adequately organized, rooms must be adequately equipped with the appropriate technology and the specific conditions necessary to experience the immersion must be created. If these requirements are not met, the public will be disappointed.

Recently, my…

In my academic and professional practice, I frequently find cases in which tourism and cultural organizations, state that they offer virtual reality tours with the aim of attracting new visitors by using slogans and marketing campaigns. However, most of these are simply based on 360º panorama images.

In this post, I am going to present some keys that allow you to easily and precisely determine which type of technology is in your hands, without the need for any technical knowledge.

One of the often-confusing parameters is a type of display. Frequently users believe that 3D glasses, as they provide the…

Irina Grevtsova

Phd in Heritage Education, lecturer and researcher in ICT for cultural tourism in Barcelona, museum professional, blogger @irinagrevtsova

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