Staging Atmospheres at the Church: Facilitating a Plurality of Perspectives through Multimodal Augmented Reality

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In their attempts to offer visitors meaningful experiences in historical churches, museums are increasingly experimenting with augmented reality. Arguing that an augmented reality experience should be counted as a material event in its own right, I focus on the aesthetic strategies employed in two augmented reality experiences. The first is an augmented virtuality installation that was presented in the Old Church in Amsterdam (Netherlands). The second concerns a HoloLens experience hosted by St. Peter’s Church in Leuven (Belgium). Drawing on the work of Gernot Böhme (2017) and undertaking a sensory auto-ethnography, I demonstrate how bodily sensations in these augmented reality experiences altered my affective involvement with the church spaces. I found that strategies of defamiliarisation and fragmentation affected my disposition, effectively personalising the perceptional relationship between the church as an authoritative institution and myself in the role as the visitor. Building on recent discussions on museums’ function in society, I also discuss the potential of augmented reality experiences to play on a multitude of meanings, and particularly, in staging dispositions that move away from universal truths.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAugmented Images
Subtitle of host publicationTrilogy of Synthetic Realities II
EditorsLars C. Grabbe, Patrick Rupert-Kruse, Norbert M. Schmitz
Place of PublicationMarburg
ISBN (Electronic)9783963178597
ISBN (Print)9783963173103
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Publication series

NameYearbook of Moving Image Studies
VolumeBand 6


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