by Frank Catalano on July 28, 2018 at 7:15 amJuly 28, 2018 at 7:15 am The stereotypical stuffy art museum experience is a thing of the past. At least, it can be if you don’t mind using a smartphone or VR headset to enhance your eyes.

And it’s clear that no one technique for extending reality will meet every artist, art lover’s, or institution’s needs. I went hands-on with two approaches that incorporate virtual and augmented reality into exhibitions now on view, and investigated a third from afar (my travel plans haven’t yet aligned with an in-person visit).

Seattle Art Museum’s “Double Exposure” Walking into the special exhibition galleries for Seattle Art Museum’s “Double Exposure,” I was encouraged to use the museum’s free WiFi to download the Layar app. As I browsed the more than 150 images by historic photographer Edward S. Curtis, as well as more contemporary work about Native America from three other artists, I looked for the Layar icon on labels next to the images.

Launching the app to view a photograph a second time through my smartphone screen, Layar recognized the image and immediately began to play related content. For the historic Curtis images, these were video commentaries.

But for Will Wilson’s contemporary tintypes, Layar animated the photographic portraits. Wilson’s subjects suddenly start to talk, sing, dance, or play music. Read more from…

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