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Future

How Digital Technology Is Revolutionizing Art Exhibitions

Audiovisual spectacles like Imagine Van Gogh offer a completely new way to experience art. But as museums embrace digital tools, what does that mean for the physical work of art.

How Digital Technology Is Revolutionizing Art Exhibitions

At the Imagine Van Gogh Immersive Exhibition in Edmonton, Canada

Verónica Abdala

BUENOS AIRES — The Imagine Van Gogh event touring cities is an immersive art experience in which visitors walk through unusually large projections of the artist's works. Currently on show at the PROA Foundation, in Buenos Aires, it offers more than the reality of Van Gogh's paintings: viewers are constantly surprised by objects and works, including holograms, visual or sound effects, or projection mapping, which combine the real and virtual.

Screens, QR codes, mobile applications, augmented or virtual reality and holography are increasingly mixing with art and how it's displayed.


So far, this hasn't disrupted visiting habits or upset the public, as Imagine Van Gogh's sales figures have shown. In Buenos Aires, it sold 147,000 tickets before opening.

Museums are using digital tools to enrich the presentation of their contents

Imagine Van Gogh

A sensory experience

In a world and at a time when social media, streaming platforms and mass spectacles are stimulating our senses to excess, museums have turned to them to update their presentation format and language. It is a Darwinian leap meant to ensure survival and a creative response to changes imposed by technology.

Virtual visuals have thus reached a new paradigm: the institution of the museum and other spaces typically used to entertain. Museums are using digital tools to enrich the presentation of their contents, while spaces are using them to make visits a sensory experience beyond mere viewing.

But will it turn art into a show and detach exhibitions from physical works of art? And is that good or bad? These are debatable points, unlike the changes already underway. The future is now and inviting us to envisage the unpredictable. Curiosity, after all, is nothing but the intention and need to discover the unknown.


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