“The O didn’t so much benefit Mona as create it.”
Mona owner David Walsh reflects on The O and the role it has played in creating Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art.
In January 2011, Walsh opened the doors to Mona, his eclectic personal art collection. Central to the museum experience is The O. It’s a location-aware device that replaces wall texts. It knows where you are in and around the museum and tells you about the works on display.
With the O, visitors can “love” or “hate” artworks, and even leave feedback. They can join virtual queues for special exhibits and continue wandering the galleries until it’s their turn to enter the exhibit. In June 2019, The O featured in New Zealand artist Simon Denny’s MINE exhibition, delivering augmented reality experiences.
“I could easily have not opened the doors if some of the art didn’t look right or some of the lighting wasn’t working, but if The O wasn’t there I was never going to open because it was the thing that gave me the freedom to create in the way that I wanted to create.”