Highbrow art is being redefined for the digital age. Digital mediums – most notably augmented reality (AR) – are making high art more accessible than ever, bringing them off canvases and into the real world to appeal to the growing cohort of digital-native consumers.
Renowned cultural institutions like the Tate Britain are combining digital techniques and traditional art for an enhanced viewing experience. In August 2019, the London art museum unveiled The Virtual Wing, an AR-powered exhibit created in partnership with Facebook Creative Shop and design firm The Mill. By pointing their smartphone camera at one of eight paintings – selected for unusual or little-known stories behind the piece – museum-goers can learn interesting tidbits about the artist, subject matter or historical context that would otherwise go untold.
“By tapping into a wealth of relevant data alongside AI and computer vision algorithms, we can help people learn and connect to the world around them in meaningful ways,” explained Matthew Roberts, who heads up Spark AR at Facebook.