REACT showcase previews the future of heritage sites at Watershed in Bristol

By Ruth Hazard | 27 September 2012
Event Preview: REACT Showcase: Heritage Sandbox, Watershed, Bristol, September 28 2012

From tweeting the dead to visiting long forgotten cinemas and augmented reality mirrors to ghosts in the garden, the World Heritage Sandbox project shows what can happen when history meets 21st century technology.

Knowledge Exchange hub, REACT, commissioned six teams to create prototypes, experiences and services that will reinvent the way future visitors will experience heritage sites, using the latest digital technologies to bring the past back to life.

Academics, technologists and creative companies have been brought in to work on the six commissions, which REACT’s Clare Reddington, describes as “great examples of how unusual partnerships can produce extraordinary cultural experiences which will bring new audiences to parks, museums and cemeteries around the UK.”

The projects will be showcased at a special preview on September 28.

Ghosts in the Garden, Sydney Gardens

This audio adventure allows groups to mingle with real people from 1824 using special Georgian listening devices created using smart phones and wooden boxes. As the tour progresses, visitors who 'tune in' to events happening in the past will be asked to make decisions that affect the outcome of the characters they meet along the way.


Ivory Bangle Lady, Yorkshire Museum

An interactive treasure hunt experience where museum visitors are invited to explore the life and death of the Ivory Bangle Lady. Questions posed to guests as they tour the museum can be answered via tweets to @IvoryBangleLady, with a correct answer enabling them to unlock a new projection and the next part of the story.


Memory of Theatre, Bristol Old Vic Theatre

Visitors can wander the stage, auditorium and bar areas of the Bristol Old Vic while listening to the stories of previous performers and audience members. Each memory will be accessible in the spot that it first took place.


Reflecting the Past


Characters from the past will appear behind visitors in mirrors adorning heritage places. These ‘augmented reality mirrors’, use specially developed film over concealed monitors to create ‘ghostings’ of figures from the past, making it look as though they are speaking to them from the same room.


City Strata, sites across Bristol

A cinemapping app that will trace Bristol’s cinema heritage, allowing users to experience the history of these venues where it actually happened.


Future Cemetery, Arnos Vale

Using projections, performance and storytelling, the project offers an entirely new way of visiting cemeteries. Visitors are able to learn the stories of some of Bristol’s historical residents and create their own digital epitaph.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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