Situated Simulations between Centre and Periphery in Museum Mediation

Gunnar Liestoel, Norway

Situated and sensory media may diminish some of the negative effects caused by the fact that central museums often deprive peripheral locations of their cultural artefacts. With most central museums there are no connections between the place of the museum and the original place of the artefacts. This gives rise to a paradox: The Museums have the original objects but lack the context, while the original site has the context but lacks the objects. Location–aware solutions, like indirect augmented relaity and situated simulations, partly solve this problem by bringing digital reconsgructions and simulations of the objects back to the original environment and habitat. However, it should be possible to take this interplay one step further by bringing the whole simulated environment back again to the museum space of the original displaced object. In practical terms this would mean that that the same situated simulation could be used both on the original location as well as in the museum space where the original objects are on display. Currently we are experimenting with applications related to the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo and the related locations where the original ships were found and excavated. This implies solutions for in–house positioning systems and handling the design constraints caused by the fact that the same digital environment must fit two very different physical locations.