Thursday, July 18, 2024

The world’s first VR LGBTQ+ museum debuts this week

If you find yourself vibing around New York City this Pride 2022, you’ll be a mere breath away from the Tribeca Film Festival where the world’s very first VR LGBTQ+ museum will debut later this week.

The VR LGBTQ+ museum is dedicated to preserving not just queer history, but personal queer history too that hasn’t been given the spotlight it deserves. Every item that can be found in the museum holds a touching, personal significance, such as wedding shoes, a teddy bear, and more – each item is also accompanied by an explanation of why it is significant and told in its own voice. And all of it is built using Unity, a platform that has been the building block behind creating and operating real-time 3D content.

Produced and directed by Antonia Forster, the museum is full of artwork that has been contributed by artists across the globe – this includes 2D artworks, 3D objects, as well as VR sculptures. All are able to be interacted with, and those who are attending the museum in-person will be able to interact with the brand-new biometric features, controlled by users emotions in real-time.

The official website of the museum states that the project was designed in a way that is “accessible” so that all people – regardless of disabilities – will be able to experience everything, such as stories and artefacts, the exhibit has to offer.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to see our project receive its North American premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2022, It’s my hope that the museum addresses the long-established imbalance in the existence and accessibility of LQTBQ+ spaces such as this,” said Forster. “The project addresses these urgent questions. Who is responsible for curating our galleries and museums, and does this typically favour the preservation of heteronormative narratives? How can XR be leveraged for positive social change? How can we use immersive technology to make space for marginalized people and amplify underrepresented stories?”

The main piece for this project is a 3D scan of ‘Memorial to a Marriage’, the world’s first and only monument to LGBTQIA+ marriage equality. It was created by acclaimed NY-based artist Patricia Cronin and depicts Cronin and her wife, artist Deborah Kass, cuddled together in a show of intimacy bordering on defiance.

The LGBTQ+ VR Museum, which is supported by Unity for Humanity and Deloitte, can be accessed at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Immersive Exhibition, either in-person or virtually, from Friday 10th – Sunday 19th June.

You can find out more about the museum over on the project’s official website.

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