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Category: Multi-Sensory

Unmute Art

As members of the MuseWeb GLAMi team since 2007 (formerly MW’s BoW), we have been intimately aware of the vast number of international projects submitted, reviewed, and awarded for innovation within the sector. Over this time we have encouraged change towards increasing the importance of inclusive design within the criteria for submissions and in judging formulas. This year it was incredibly refreshing and inspiring to see a project win Best of the GLAMi Awards that was uniquely focused on both inclusion and accessibility.

Unmute Art is a project created by Orpheo for the Andy Warhol Exhibition at the Pietrasanta Basilica in Napoli. This video-guide facilitates the delivery of interpretation through Italian Sign Language (ISL). Using Augmented Reality (AR), the user recognizes the relevant Andy Warhol piece, which provokes the video overlay. Actors were filmed in character matching the subject of the work, and the prompted video delivers the work’s interpretation through ISL.

Not only is the interpretive content made accessible to a historically marginalized community, but the experience is made rich and meaningful, facilitating the enjoyment and education of Warhol’s work by ISL signers, in their first language, without (critically) requiring they look away from the work as they receive the interpretation. This can be done at the same time as those receiving the interpretation in Italian via audio-guide interpretation. A meaningful project that was no doubt fun to produce and can be a great model for other GLAMs (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) to further iterate and build upon.

ISL signing actor made-up to look like the subject of an Andy Warhol art work. The work is highly stylized with boosted brightness and contrast reducing visual detail, and the actor is wearing a yellow sweater with black polkadots, green eye shadow, and set against a solid red background.
Italian Sign Language (ISL) fluent actors were made to resemble the subjects of Andy Warhol’s work so they could deliver seamless interpretation of his works via ISL without necessitating patrons look away from the art in order to view the interpretation.

Tactile Art Commission

“How I Came to Ottawa” by Acadian-Métis artist Eric Walker in 2017 is exhibited at the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) and is the gallery’s first special commission of a touchable art work.

The associated label calls attention through text and iconography that the work is intended to be touched. In fact the label invites visitors to “Please Touch!” the artwork. The relief, the materials used, the geometry of its components, and its explicitly detectable edges encourage multi-sensory exploration – visual and tactile.