While commercial applications of virtual reality explode on your mobile screen, the history potential of the smart phone valiantly struggles to catch up. The Digital Humanities team of Kathleen Hulser and Steve Bull have been experimenting with history on the hoof. They concoct augmented reality scenarios that turn the smart phone into a history translator that conjures buried archival materials into real world contexts. Two recent forays show the potential for plucking history from the scholarly realm and popping it into surprising settings. “Tecumseh” summons an image of the Shawnee leader who tried to found a Pan-Indian Nation, during the War of 1812. No, Indians aren’t erased from the history, they’ve just been waiting in your mobile to re-materialize. Bull lurked amidst classical busts in the gardens of the Villa dei Pini, Bogliasco ITALY, to install “inVisible Presence” using augmented reality to make the men of marble to mobilize their thoughts. In both cases above the visitor is given the opportunity to have a snap shot taken with the avatar and posted to a social media site.
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