A journey into the Hades in the Hypogeum of Cerberus: The Spatial Augmented Reality experience


Text and images by Donato Maniello (Studio Glowarp, Academy of Fines Arts-Naples, Italy, multimedia contents)

This work discussion is a hypothesis of reconstruction of the missing part of the frieze of the Hypogeum of Cerberus located in Canosa di Puglia (Bt), Italy. The narration is considered difficult because of the particular fragility of the pigments, by the strong visual fragmentation or by the complete lack of pigments. This work wants to show the potentialities of SAR (Spatial Augmented Reality) technology in order to make visible the ancient polychromies, thus providing interesting perspectives of use for video mapping.

In recent years, the academics have always been more and more interested into the study of the polychromies of ancient works and aware of their value. However, the audience who visits the museums it’s not aware of it, ignoring the fact that the white marble of the statues and buildings it’s not what we can call a stylistic choice but evidence of the flowing time. The collective imagination that has always considered white as the supreme colour of the ancient sculpture needs now to re-considerate its position facing with an interdisciplinary approach, that allows to revaluate and better appreciate the pieces of the ancient sculpture and its decorations, being aware of the importance that the colour had in that times. It is therefore important to use forms of communication that make possible to highlight the colour appearance of the original works in the eyes of the final users, pieces kept into our museums object of precise studies.

It is important to pay attention to the new communication media that have the clear role of showing the final outcomes of the research to the public, a research carried out by more sophisticated means. SAR is one of the architectural technologies that lends itself best to such communication experimentations in archaeological and museum settings. The reasons of its fortune can be ascribe to its relative user-friendliness and the fact that can be used by a group, an audience. The archaeological and museum assets are well suited to the use of this technology because it allows to reconstruct missing fragments or original colours by overlapping the real and virtual model through the use of matching techniques. SAR technical possibilities and its applications into archaeological and museum fields create new scenarios for the scholars because it is particularly suitable as support for restoration project and digital anastylosis and permits to recreate the original colours using different methods of research. The Glowarp Studio has long since set the goal of using SAR into archaeological and museum settings for communicative purposes and as a mean to enhance the finds or “reconstructing the absence” by creating ad hoc multimedia contents.

Link: https://www.glowarp.com/arim_96_ipogeo_cerbero.html

Viaggio nell’Ade: racconti di luce sull’Ipogeo del Cerbero (trailer). from Studio Glowarp / www.glowarp.com on Vimeo.


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