What is AR & VR? How is it used currently in the experience of the Art industry?

What is Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality?

Virtual reality is the use of technology to create a simulated environment where users are immersed into an interactive 3D world. VR is mainly experienced through the use of a headset which positions the users eyes within the simulated world. Below I have linked a video which explains and demonstrates what Virtual Reality is and how it works.

Augmented Reality simulates artificial objects in the real environment, superimposing the computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real world. This means users can have their current reality enhanced through providing extra visuals and information. AR experiences only need a smartphone or tablet and are downloadable as apps. A few that a lot of individuals are currently exposed to are apps such as Snapchat and Instagram. Both these Apps allow users to interact with filters that augment their current reality by changing themselves or their environment in elaborate ways.

Here are some examples of an augmented reality through the use of the Google Arts & Culture App. The App first gets you to select what you would like to view in Augmented Reality. It then gets you to move your phone around to scan your environment. Once it has scanned your environment, it will come up with your selected visual which you can view in 3D.

How is VR & AR currently being used in the Art industry?


TeamLab is a group of Artist who develop immersive, interactive art all over the world. Throughout their different exhibits, individuals can download the TeamLab App which allows them the ability to augment aspects of the artwork. For instance, the Planetarium exhibit in Japan showcases different visuals of constellations and stars. Through the App, individuals can choose which stars are displayed and see it come to life in 3D all around them.

Kremer Museum VR

The Kremer museum created something beyond your traditional museum experience. They replicated the architecture and space of the museum to allow users be ‘visitors’ to the immersive experience of a selection of 17th century Dutch and Flemish Art. The 74 paintings which were photographed between 2,500 to 3,500 times, can be viewed through a VR headset anywhere in the world in ultra-high resolution. This VR experience allows individuals to view the work very close and personal in great detail which is very different to your traditional exhibit experience where you usually view art from afar.

What should we expect?

As AR and VR become more prominent in the Art industry experience, it makes us question how will this affect the industry? Will it be positive or negative? How will these technologies develop and change our experiences in the next 10-20yrs? I will focus on these two questions in my next 2 blog post on my ‘Where Art Thou in Future’ series.

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