developed with the "HapTeam" [Deepak Pakhare, Oscar
Salazar and Rikako Sakai]
How can you enhance a visit to a virtual museum of sculptures?
MEME is the result of a summer project developed at PERCRO
(Perceptual Robotics) lab in Pisa. Percro is developing an
haptic interface to visit a virtual museum of sculptures (Museum
of Pure Forms).
The aim of our project was the design of the overall experience
of a user visiting a virtual and a real museum (Museo dell'Opera
del Duomo in Pisa), providing a commun thread between the
Our solution was the development of a narrative and of a virtual/physical
agent (Meme), related to the world of sculpture, able to guide
the visitor in the virtual/real tour.
The problem: the quality of the haptic interaction
We delved upon the inherent qualities of real-ness
of the haptic interaction and we came to this consideration,
By touching, I dont feel any texture or specific
This appeared to be a negative feeling compared to the sensorial
richness of reality. So our problem was to transform this
limitation into a positive attribute. How?
A positive attribute of something that is not real could be
termed as Ethereal.
By looking for a metaphor within the pure forms
[the name of the exposition is "Museum of Pure Forms"]
context we rationalized touching sculptures as akin to touching
a creative idea - with only a perceived form and no material
existence in itself unless crafted into or imparted to a material
(stone, marble etc. in case of sculptures) thus retaining
the inner qualities of sublimity and purity of such an idea.
Moreover those virtual qualities fulfill an expectation -
Its a feeling that is not possible in the real world
and so suitable and in a way, expected, from the virtual
world experience. To lend credence to this hypothesis, we
then asked, would it be fair to say that in the VE one experiences
the idea, the inspiration, that was in the mind of the artist
and not the real sculpture.
This way, the experience can be mapped to the feeling of a
shape without (or an approximate) perceptual feedback connected
with the experience of sculptures.
The work is documented in a website
and in a blog.