The Lives of Things

  • Installation

The Nasher Museum has one of the most important collections of medieval art in an American university. These objects are mounted against the white walls of the Nasher Museum with short labels by way of identification. Yet how many of the visitors to the museum understand that these objects were once brightly painted, and once part of full-length figures that enriched the doorways and facades of medieval churches - that they were integrated into much larger decorative programs? The Lives of Things is a collaboration between Engineering and Art, Art History and Visual Studies. Computer scientists and engineers work with artists and art historians, using programming and graphical user interface design for artistic and historical contextualization with augmented reality and interactive capabilities. This eclectic blend of knowledges and capabilities brings new possibilities for interdisciplinary teamwork of broad impact and for horizontal knowledge transmission. Our goal is to use emerging technologies for developing a new model of the engaged museum that reaches out to involve the public of all ages in reconnecting works of art to their original context (e.g., chapels, church portals, or facades) through interactive and gaming displays. Our first installation is now part of the Nasher permanent collection. This is a collaboration with Dr. Tepper (engineering leader), Prof. Olson (art history leader) and Prof. Bruzelius.

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Duke Faculty Artists/Collaborators

Cited Artists/Collaborators

  • Caroline Bruzelius; Guillermo Sapiro; Mariano Tepper; Mark Olson

Creation Date

  • November 2015