(CNR, Rome, Italy)

Keywords: holographic showcase for museums, Pepper’s Ghost techniques, perception and storytelling, mixed reality, user experience

The basic idea of a hologram is an apparition of something that doesn’t exist but appear as if it was just in front of our eyes. Indeed these illusion technique were invented a long time ago, the innovation nowaday consists in the adopted technology to produce them.
From the XVI century there were many experimentations that were brought in the theatre, fascinating the spectators. The philosopher and alchemist Giovanni Battista della Porta invented an effect that was later developed and made very famous by Professor John Henry Pepper (1821-1900).
Today there are different types of holographic techniques, some of them are not properly holograms but they are very good in terms of visual quality. The ancient Ghost technique is still used on the stage of concerts, at large scale, or inside a museum’s showcase, at smaller scale.
Taking advantage of the available digital technologies, the challenge today is to realize a new form of scenography and dramaturgy around the museum’s objects, with a robust and easy technology, compatible with preservation needs.
Since the the holographic effect is an illusion of reality, there are specific rules and constraints regarding percpetion and editing that must be respected and that will be discussed, while some choices in the design depends also on the environmental conditions.
Pure visualization, without additional contents, can be useful for digital collections.However if we want to transmit historical contents, the script and the sound play a fundamental role, combined with a dynamic lighting system inside the showcase. We can create a virtual dramaturgy around the real object.
The reconstruction of senses and of symbolic dimensions that are “beyond” the object can take the visitor in the middle of a lively and powerful experience. Case studies will be presented, in the framework of the EU project CEMEC.

Relevance for the conference: For years museums worked confining multimedia contents on limited projection screens or surfaces. Digital contents have been juxtaposed with real artifacts but never really integrated and combined together to produce something new and more powerful, as a mixed reality. The intent of creating a real drama inside the museum space to push the user’s sensory involvement within a story, has brought to test innovative representation techniques that communicate with the exposed objects, such as holograms, Pepper Ghost’s effects living inside the showcase and interacting with the real artifacts.
Relevance for the session: The reasons of the adopted design in the holographic showcases realized in the museums of the EU CEMEC network will be presented, and communicative solutions, the technical realization, and some more meaningful data from the user experience evaluation, useful to extract some general guidelines about the methodological approach in the use of holographic techniques inside museums and novel approach in storytelling.
Innovation: Novel frontier in storytelling inside museums, integration between real and virtual contents, studies in sensorial perception carried on the public of different museums/cultures in Europe experiencing holographic showcases
• Eva Pietroni: From remote to embodied sensing: new perspectives for virtual museums and archaeological landscape communication, in Book ” Digital Methods and Remote Sensing in Archaeology”, Book Subtitle “Archaeology in the Age of Sensing” ed. by M. Forte and S. Campana; Springer, Series title “Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences”, chapter 18. ISBN: 978-3-319-40656-5
• Eva Pietroni, Enzo d’Annibale, Daniele Ferdani, Massimiliano Forlani, Alfonsina Pagano, Leonardo Rescic, Claudio Rufa: BEYOND THE MUSEUM’S OBJECT. ENVISIONING STORIES, In EDULEARN17 Proceedings 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies July 3rd-5th, 2017 — Barcelona, Spain Edited by L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres IATED Academy ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4 ISSN: 2340-1117 Depósito Legal: V-1538-2017