If there is a hot technology in museums right now, it is virtual reality–a technology sometimes credited as being the “ultimate empathy machine.” But can VR live up to the hype for museums? What happens when VR technologies are used to recreate or invoke traumatic experiences? What kinds of scaffolding do museums need to provide when preparing a visitor for these kinds of embodied experiences? And how can museums use VR promote representation and inclusion?
In this special two-part episode of Museopunks, Suse and special guest co-host Desi González, explore the realities of working with the virtual. In part one, Michael Haley Goldman speaks on the prototyping being done at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to experiment with VR, while Kai Frazier discusses the work she is doing with her VR start-up CuratedXKai to provide inclusive opportunities and increased exposure in cultural settings for people of colour.
In part two, we take a deep dive into Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s academy-award winning virtual reality installation CARNE y ARENA with VR film-maker Paisley Smith.