This project was unlike any we had previously worked on. As Simon put it, “Making exhibitions, for me, is often about a journey. One learns, discovers and pivots as one goes along. If I’d simply executed my first idea it would be a much lesser exhibition.” So we joined Simon on his journey. Denny’s multilayered work required us to display conceptual finesse and technical muscle. Working closely with Denny, we answered the technical challenges of the project without getting in the way of his vision. Ultimately, we aimed to work with the artist and curators—often across international borders and timezones—to create a seamless technological experience that seamlessly complemented the artist’s vision.
Over two-and-a-half years, we collaborated with Denny and the curators on exhibition design, creative conceptualisation and technology integration for the project. We assembled an in-house, multidisciplinary team including a 3D designer, an extended reality developer, and a creative producer, onboarding talent as needed. Some of the technical facets of the exhibition included adding augmented reality capabilities to The O, training a custom neural network in Facial Expression Recognition (FER), and creating 3D models for AR representation through the visitor’s device.
As I became more and more familiar with The O, it became clear that using AR would be a really great option for my exhibition [...] Mine was really the perfect first outing for me in this medium, augmented reality. All the infrastructure was there for me to just focus on content and not be solving technical problems myself that I would have otherwise had to do in another situation.
– Simon Denny,
Simon Denny: Mine was the first time The O has been part of an exhibition and not just the supporting act, bringing together artist, curator and tech company. It’s also an example of how technology, when used innovatively and collaboratively, not only enhances the visitor’s experience but can support an artist’s vision.
Bringing our expertise in extended reality and data analytics, we developed AR and facial recognition for The O. This enabled Denny to fully explore the themes in Mine and create a unique and powerful piece of work. We also mined Mona’s real-time visitor data, finding new ways to show visitors what museums can collect about them—adding another layer of discovery and information to the exhibition.
Impact in numbers
448 days Total time visitors have spent in augmented reality.
71,185 Total number of selfies taken
162,190 Total number of visitors who used The O to experience the Simon Denny: MINE