Brisbane-based software development company Patient Zero has teamed up with Birrunga Gallery to launch a new augmented reality (AR) app.
The app allows gallery visitors to interact with and hear directly from, the First Nations artists whose works are on display.
Birrunga Gallery founder and principal artist Birrunga Wiradyuri, a Wiradyuri man, said the app lets First Nations people tell important stories on their own terms.
“The app provides an unprecedented opportunity for us to engage with our visitors directly. Through utilising augmented reality, we have the opportunity to use our voices, tell our stories, speak directly with visitors in an intimate, interactive and immersive experience,” he said.
“You just can’t capture the nuances of our cultural narratives in an exhibit label. With this app, visitors don’t just gain an understanding of an artwork, they experience it.”
Patient Zero principal experience custodian Demelza Green said the app is a unique tool that is helping to record, share and preserve First Nations stories for years to come.
“When Patient Zero first looked at augmented reality, we found a market saturated with short-lived experiences, and we wanted something that would have a longer lasting impact,” Green said.
“With the Birrunga Gallery app, we’re using this technology to enhance a person’s experience at the gallery, to build their cultural understanding instead of merely distracting or entertaining them.
“Visitors are immersed in a cultural experience enabled by technology — not a technology experience that overshadows a cultural one.”
The application is the result of a long and close partnership between Birrunga Gallery and Patient Zero, and was fast-tracked to market in under two months, using the Unity framework to build a truly immersive experience.
“Patient Zero was the only choice when it came to a partner for building this application. We moved quickly from idea to execution, and we were able to get an experience into our visitors’ hands within two months,” continued Birrunga.
“Even more importantly, we are capturing our stories for all time.”