Innovations in Art History Tech

Image3SIGGRAPH is a big event. It is for people who love computer graphics, animation, and tech. They come together. It’s also great for museums and art galleries to learn about new digital tools. At SIGGRAPH, there was cool stuff. It included a digital art gallery with Latin American art. There was also a project. It used cameras to save dance moves in 3D. The conference showed how tech is changing art, entertainment, and museums. It’s doing so in exciting ways. It included virtual reality stories. They let people feel deep emotions, like a story about coming out. Also, websites like are mixing technology with casino games in new ways. They help spread creative works further. Here are the top five tech innovations for arts nonprofits spotted at SIGGRAPH.

Michelangelo’s David in VR

The sensation was akin to being on a thrilling rollercoaster ride with all the twists and turns. But I was riding rising scaffolding in virtual reality (VR). I faced Michelangelo’s David instead of the train tracks supposed to be in front of me.

As I encircled him, stories of his origin, triggered by my gaze, echoed in my ears. I could see the chisel marks around his brow. I could also see the marks where Michelangelo used his bow to drill into David’s hair.

At SIGGRAPH 2017, Chris Evans from Epic Games showed a VR experience. It was of Michelangelo’s David. It was built from a 1999 laser scan. Only those at the event could see it up close as the restorers did. After the event, the data went back to the Italian government. Evans highlighted the difficulty of working with museum items. This is due to copyright and access problems.


He believes VR can improve how we see and interact with cultural heritage. Yet, museums need to be more open to sharing their collections.

Ghost Paint

Ghost Paint is an excellent VR experience where you can spray-paint a virtual mural. You put on a headset, pick your painting tools and colors, and start creating art like you would on a natural wall. It’s perfect for art museums to get visitors involved. Shane Caudle created Ghost Paint to make digital art feel as natural as a painting. Visitors can paint something inspired by the museum’s exhibits. They can also watch friends paint in VR. They can even print their artwork to take home. This could be a big deal for making learning and art fun in museums.

AR Mail from Harbin

AR Mail is like a magic trick from MIT students. It turns postcards into 3D buildings on your phone or tablet. You need an app to see a realistic cathedral. It pops up from a postcard with only simple black-and-white drawings. It’s meant to help people understand what buildings look like in real life, not as flat plans or models. The 3D images are made by stitching together many photos. This method is cheaper and looks more accurate than traditional 3D scanning.

The AR Mail team only has postcards of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in China. However, there are plenty of opportunities to use AR Mail for in-gallery and promotional purposes. Imagine receiving a virtual model of the Bamiyan Buddhas in the mail or comparing concert halls side-by-side in an architectural exhibition. AR Mail has boundless potential for creating immersive and engaging experiences!

Digital Playground

The Digital Playground initiative delves into the possibilities of technology in fostering human interaction that mirrors pre-technology times. The team has developed a “human-centered experience” with captivating visual projections mapped onto a wall. People can interact with these projections by throwing foam balls at them. This lets you push an astronaut out of his spaceship. You can block moon rocks or team up to get the astronaut to circle the moon.


Imagine children pushing cave paintings on a replica of a cave wall. Or, imagine students rearranging paintings in a virtual gallery. Tech has made the BlikBlik Festival in Pilsen possible. It has also made the Ceramic Art Museum in Beijing possible.

The project makes us think. It’s about which old designs and experiences we should keep in our new digital world. This is a question for GLAMs. They are redefining how to engage with audiences. They foster communication between themselves by encouraging mutual engagement.

Latin America and Technology

After 35 long years, this is the first time. SIGGRAPH’s Art Gallery featured only Latin American artists. This unique showcase highlighted how these artists use technology as a tool. They use it, like paint or clay, to create their art. The curator, Paula Gaetano-Adi, emphasized that art and technology blend today. The exhibit aimed to include Latin American artists in crucial art and tech discussions. It challenged their usual exclusion. The event focused on Latin American media artists. It aimed to shake up the art world and prove that technology has no borders.