MCA.Art

good-design-award_best-in-class_rgb_blk_logo
  • 2021

  • Digital
    Web Design and Development

Designed In:

Australia

MCA.Art offers visitors to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) an easy-to-use, interactive guide of artworks. Visitors scan artworks to prompt audio and video guides featuring artists and curators profiles and learning activities for kids. Accessible to people with access needs, and available in multiple languages.


view website

  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • We are naturally curious beings. We want to understand the meaning and story behind things that inspire us. This is no different for thousands of visitors to the MCA. The team were tasked with helping visitors connect with the stories and ideas of contemporary art in a way that creates access for all, regardless of ability and augments the in-gallery experience, enhancing not competing with the art itself. Along with this, the emergence of COVID-19, lockdowns and social distancing, meant we needed to provide an interactive gallery experience to people who could no longer visit the MCA in person.

  • MCA.art provides visitors to the museum an interactive guide directly to their devices through a web browser. Visitors can connect to the Museum's freely accessible in-house wifi network, scan artworks to access audio guides, view videos featuring artists and curators, review artists' profiles and access learning activities for kids. Accessible features support those with visual or hearing impairment, while multiple languages cater for the multicultural audiences that visit the MCA. Bringing the stories behind the artworks to life, MCA.art creates a new layer to the MCA experience.

  • Artists have embraced the tool helping to create the content and finding it gives them new ways to express the concepts at play in their works. We also believe that art is for everyone and MCA.Art is a key initiative in helping make this possible. It provides audio guides, captioned videos and dedicated Australian sign language (AUSLAN) tours. People have enthusiastically shared their joy in using this new way of experiencing art. One commented that a small number of students who are on the autism spectrum "were very absorbed by it and found the interface easy to navigate."

  • The web application integrates a visual recognition feature by using the camera of a smartphone through the web browser. Camera-based recognition works to detect artworks as a whole, either from a great distance or by zooming in on the artworks' details. Once the detection is made, the visitor accesses the details of the artwork which can be presented as video, audio, text, slideshows, gigapixel animated narratives, etc. For large artworks, multiple points can be scanned to trigger details about those specific elements. This was used to explore the multi-panel painting Feng Shui fresco by the artist Guan Wei. Shown in the supplied images. The technology provided by Livdeo, embedded in a totally responsive web app, enabled the Museum to extend and plan new visitor experiences. We have learned about audiences and visitor behaviour, both in the exhibition space and outside the Museum, in ways we never thought possible.