The Lives Of Things Color Projection Exhibit Unveiled at the Nasher

October 9, 2015
by Lucas Giles

This past weekend, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University celebrated its 10th anniversary. To honor its first decade, the museum hosted its own homecoming event on Sunday, October 4th, coinciding with campus-wide homecoming festivities. The event, held at the museum, comprised of a series of NED (Nasher, education, Duke) talks, various spectacles and the unveiling of the Wired! group’s latest project, The Lives of Things.

The project, which will form part of the museum’s permanent exhibit, allows users to digitally recolor medieval sculpture using mobile and projection technologies. The idea is to provide a fun and interactive platform to visually demonstrate how four medieval statues might have appeared in their originality.

Using a mobile application, the viewer selects a part of the sculpture they wish to color (from which they have a variety of options). Once they have selected a color, the application digitally projects their choice on to the surface of the sculpture. This creates a digital impression of the original colored appearance of the statue. Information is also provided in the mobile application regarding the pigments used in medieval Europe.

Led by Caroline Bruzelius and Mark Olson (Art, Art History and Visual Studies), Guillermo Sapiro and Mariano Tepper (Electrical and Computer Engineering), The Lives of Things is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary group. Whilst their backgrounds differ, their collective goal is the same: to recontextualise works of art by incorporating digital technologies into the museum environment. Their latest installation fulfills this aim by digitally displaying medieval sculpture in all its previous painted glory. Judging by the throng of people waiting to use the application at Sunday’s opening, the project will be a huge success. As a young boy remarked, ‘woah that’s so cool, those statues are painted!’

This exhibit is on display with the Nasher’s permanent collection. Check the Nasher’s site for visiting information.