Augmented Reality in Art and Culture

Here's how AR technologies are changing the arts and culture industry

augmented reality in arts and culture
Augmented RealityNews Analysis

Published: December 16, 2022

Demond Cureton

Augmented Reality (AR) in art has gained a lot of attention, namely as creatives and companies develop new industry verticals with the technology.

From the health industry, architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC), and others, AR is a valuable tool for professionals and how they design, collaborate, and innovate.

The art and culture sector is also tapping immersive technologies as a medium of creative expression. With these new solutions, people can explore museums from the comfort of their own homes or watch artists performing in a virtual concert.

Designers have even recreated deceased artists using hyperrealistic avatars. Meta Platforms has experimented with this by recreating a concert featuring Christopher George Latore Wallace, or the Notorious BIG, to entertain audiences in an exclusive event.

Augmenting the Artistic Landscape

When AR and artistic creativity collides, the possibilities are endless. AR is all about augmenting the existing physical environment with digital enhancements.

Other immersive firms such as Tin Drum have explored ‘ARt’ that can overlay masterpieces over the physical world. This allows full audiences to experience the work of art simultaneously with smart glasses.

Augmented reality art also has the potential to build on the live theatre experience by adding extra layers of content to scenes and set designs.

Artgoers can also interact with holographic elements, or visitors could watch the experience through AR smart glasses to deepen immersion in the storyline.

Groups like the Royal Shakespeare Company have already begun exploring the future of immersive theatre with companies such as Epic Games and Magic Leap. This will not only deepen the theatre experience for audiences but attract new ones as well.

Exploring Exhibitions from Home

AR could also make arts and culture experiences more accessible to people who can’t always travel the world to see events or exhibitions.

For instance, The David Bowie Museum partnered with Planeta, Sony Music Entertainment, and the Victoria and Albert Museum to create a digital version of the event. The app allows users to explore the exhibition using their smartphones to walk around a virtual version of the show.

Museums are quickly becoming more immersive with the help of AR. For example, eight internet artists have leveraged AR to create their own digital art gallery at the Museum of Modern Art.

The artists were able to bring the paintings of Jackson Pollock to life. Audiences could also download its gallery app to receive gifs, interactive games, and bespoke digital overlays over the original artwork.

To expand outreach to people amid the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations such as the National Gallery launched an initiative to bring augmented reality art to public spaces.

The ‘AR Gallery’ provided audiences with QR codes and an app. These tools overlayed some of the world’s finest art on street corners, window shops, and other public spaces.

Additionally, a famous Ukrainian Web3 artist created a non-fungible token (NFT) with extensive artificial intelligence (AI) morphing properties. This created an immersive experience where the interactive images would change properties over time.

Augmented Reality in ‘ARt’?

The creative ways that groups experiment with AR indicate the technology itself does not make the sector special, but the unique ideas of the artists also involved indispensably contribute.

AR can bring new life to the arts and culture sector, particularly when people may not be able to get out and explore these experiences in person.

With the advent of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon AR2 platform, more smart glass manufacturers will receive access to AR technologies. These will become the new canvas creatives will use to develop their immersive masterpieces for audiences worldwide.



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