"Pissarro Sounds" Opens at the Kunstmuseum Basel

The exhibition "Camille Pissarro. The Studio of Modernism" at the Kunstmuseum Basel has just opened. Artist Moritz Fehr has created "Pissarro Sounds", a sound artwork of dynamic sound spaces for four exhibition rooms, which immerses visitors in the world of art and life of the French Neo-Impressionist by means of so-called binaural synthesis and precise location tracking. "Pissarro Sounds" is the first public application of the Innosuisse research project Immersive Audio Guiding System (IAGS) of the FHNW Academy of Music, iart and Idee & Klang Audio Design.

The basis for "Pissarro Sounds" and the core of the mixed reality platform developed by iart especially for museum applications is an interactive 3D model in which an exact copy of the exhibition rooms is stored. As in a computer game, various objects, sounds, interactions and trigger zones are located in this digital twin of the exhibition. At the same time, a high-precision location tracking system records the movement of visitors in the exhibition space and transfers their position to the 3D model. In this way, visitors trigger the sounds through their physical movement. Their headphones use the combined data to generate relational sound spaces at the very moment they move through the exhibition.

"Pissarro Sounds" impressively shows that augmented reality audio is ready for diverse use in museums. Yet it is only one of many possible applications. The basic Mixed Reality Platform (MxRP) can be easily adapted to changing conditions. In the future, it will serve as a framework for the use of augmented reality and interactive media in large exhibitions. In addition to special shows such as the one on Pissarro, classic permanent exhibitions of art, science and technology can be experienced in a new way and thus become attractive to new groups of visitors.

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