The Goriška Museum replaced tour guides to the permanent exhibition on the work of conservators and restorers with sound, light, video and QR codes. The exhibition in Villa Bartolomei in Solkan is one of the first of its kind in Slovenia .
“Digital, interactive and virtual.” With these three words technically gifted Rok Prislan describes the permanent exhibition titled To preserve the past for today and tomorrow, which he enriched with virtual guidance and digital technology. The exhibition showcases the work of conservators and restorers. Amongst them Jana Šubic Prislan, who comments “It’s an interesting mix of heritage and modern technology.” Indeed, although the museum is mostly concerned with the past this does not mean that it must also use methods of presentation that are part of the past.
The exhibition itself is not new – it has been in place since 2007, what’s new is the virtual guide. In approximately 20 minutes it directs a group of up to 7 visitors through the exhibition. The visitors are first greeted at the entrance and explained how things go. Then the virtual guide indicates the way by turning on lights at different exhibits and starting audio or video playback when visitors are detected near the exhibit. Lights are used not only to show the way, but also to emphasize specific parts of the exhibition. All is made possible by proximity sensors and relays controlled with a Pure Data application behind the scenes. Furthermore QR codes point visitors to additional online multimedia material, such as videos of conservators and restorers at work or exhibits that didn’t make it in the final selection.
The virtual guide is a fine example of ubiquitous computing – “a method of enhancing computer use by making many computers available throughout the physical environment, but making them effectively invisible to the user” (Weiser, 1993). Hopefully, we will soon see more of such ‘museum of the future’ installations.
Villa Bartolomei Solkan, Pod vinogradi 2, 5250 Solkan
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.00am – 3.00pm
Saturday, Sunday, holidays – only for arranged groups
No admission fee.
Partly adopted after dnevnik.si (in Slovene).