LOUVRE - DNP MUSEUM LAB
LOUVRE - DNP MUSEUM LAB
  • Museum Lab Scenes
  • Tokyo-Paris: Two LDMLs
Presentation organinzed by :
  • LOUVRE
  • DNP
Thematic approaches
Louvre - DNP Museum Lab   Eighth Presentation Offerings for Eternity in Ancient Egypt: a Question of Survival
1. Relocating multimedia displays to the Musée du Louvre
Following on from the Seventh Presentation, two multimedia resources developed for the Eighth Presentation will be relocated to the Musée du Louvre, this time in Rooms 21 and 23 of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. With user interfaces tailored to a diverse range of visitors from throughout the world and hardware appropriate to the Louvre's historic and palatial setting that plays host to over 8 million people annually, the multimedia resources are also designed to blend seamlessly into the permanent exhibition spaces, unobtrusive to artwork viewing.
Providing access to classified information via an intuitive approach
Issue:
This device, which will be relocated to Room 21 of the Louvre, was designed to offer keys to understanding the Egyptian art and to help the visit to the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. It provides a chance to explore certain conventions of Egyptian art, such as "aspectivity", symmetry, or aspect-ratio proportions used to depict the human body.
Multimedia generally favors tree structures for conveying this type of information (concepts, categories, etc.). However, an interface that provides information layer by layer tends to occlude the whole picture. In addition, devices need to be unobtrusive so as not to generate visitor congestion and impede artwork viewing.

LDML's proposed solution:
This resource's user interface is designed to prompt viewers to choose one of the Louvre's works from a given selection; they then learn more about the category of convention it represents. While operating the device, they can therefore discover the pictorial codes of Egyptian art and classify the information received.
Moreover, to avoid competition between multimedia displays and exhibits — multimedia may attract the eye before the artworks themselves, or screens may cast reflections in display cases and thereby hinder viewing — the chosen format is a collective viewing table designed to foster intuitive understanding of the information.
Providing detailed information on an artwork without losing sight of the whole picture
Issue:
The challenge here was to develop a multimedia resource, designed to be placed near the actual stela of Sakherty and other stelae in Room 23 of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities and capable of explaining the nature of the figures featured on the stela. Detailed explanations of each of its component parts are required in order to "decode" this complex piece.
By simply zooming in on details, we tend to lose sight of the work's whole picture, which is its rightful context. It was therefore important to devise a method that would allow both an overview of the whole picture and a chance to discover each of its component parts.

LDML's proposed solution:
To offer as an interactive menu a full-length reproduction of the stela on continual display, so as to allow visitors to learn progressively about each of its component parts. By piecing together information about each detail, visitors are able progressively to reconstruct the stela as a whole. The aim here is to provide an intuitive insight into the way that a researcher studies a stela.
2. Adding digital functions to artwork caption panels
Issue:
The Musée du Louvre plays host to over 8 million visitors from around the world each year. As such, it has to be able to cope with this diversity, one important aspect of which is providing multilingual caption panels that offer basic information on the works and, if possible, incorporate additional features. While multifunctional caption panels (providing more information) might satisfy the visitors' increasing thirst for more knowledge, they may also cause congestion as visitors linger before the multimedia devices longer. Non-cumbersome solutions were therefore needed to provide the right amount of quality information. Moreover, the widespread use of digital caption panels entails an increased risk of system failure. Low maintenance systems able to ensure a minimum level of basic information in case of temporary failure are therefore required.

LDML's proposed solution:
This recurrent issue was already the focus of preliminary investigations during the Seventh Presentation. For the Eighth Presentation, basic information identifying the works is printed in three languages, in conjunction with multimedia screens displaying visual elements and further explanations for enhanced viewing of the actual work itself.
3. Providing contextual information by making use of a map's potential
Issue:
The theme of the Eighth Presentation, the practice of funerary offerings, is easier to grasp if explained in its historical and geographical context. Using maps and models to explore the site of Abydos is a way of conveying information on the religious practices and places associated with it.

LDML's proposed solution:
The "Abydos" multimedia resource uses the principle of architectural augmentation with spatial augmented reality (SAR) via video projection ("projection mapping"), applied to a printed map. This fixed, universal form of visual information is shared by several viewers, who are invited to interact using the menu projected around the map. Depending on whether or not the information on the context of practices connected with funerary offerings is precisely related to a geographic location, the information is projected and directly superimposed onto the map, or developed in the menu that surround it.
4. Understanding an object's original purpose through physical experience
Issue:
When faced with a work originally intended for a specific purpose, particularly in the case of ritual objects like the "Offering table of Horiraa," it is essential to understand the reasons behind its production and the way that it was used, and to find the best way of explaining this.

LDML's proposed solution:
While cultural context or prevailing conceptions may change, the human body's physical functions have essentially remained unchanged! The "Offerings" multimedia resource is based on the assumption that by performing the same actions, visitors will undergo a physical experience that will awaken their interest in the work and give them an intuitive insight into its meaning. The system developed therefore allows visitors to take part in an offering ritual with items identical to those used in Ancient Egypt.
Augmented reality (AR) and computer graphics (CG) are the technologies used here to provide a visual representation of the intended effect of offerings for the dead, the aim being to give viewers the impression that they themselves are once again conjuring up the world that the Egyptians believed in.
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©2013 Louvre - DNP Museum Lab