Digital Diorama at Moesgaard Museum

Moesgård Museum, Højbjerg, Denmark

At the new Moes­gaard Mu­seum vis­i­tors lit­er­ally come face-to-face with the an­ces­tors of the human race. The mu­seum ac­com­mo­dates ar­chae­o­log­i­cal and ethno­graphic ex­hi­bi­tions, spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions, an au­di­to­rium, con­fer­ence rooms and other vis­i­tor fa­cil­i­ties. The com­bi­na­tion of sci­ence with new ways of dis­play­ing the arte­facts and the use of tech­nol­ogy is char­ac­ter­is­tic for the ex­hi­bi­tions of the new mu­seum. The ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­hi­bi­tions dis­play the lives of the species of the past through the use of nar­ra­tives and set­tings with light, sounds and an­i­ma­tions.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with Moes­gaard Mu­seum De­sign Stu­dio, ART+COM Stu­dios de­vel­oped two el­e­ments for the per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion: the in­stal­la­tion Evo­lu­tion­ary Stairs with seven dig­i­tal dio­ra­mas, and a se­ries of re­flec­tive dis­plays po­si­tioned on the lower ground floor.

A unique col­lec­tion of anatom­i­cally pre­cise re­con­struc­tions of human species greets vis­i­tors al­ready on the stair­case in the mu­seum foyer. The fig­ures can be ex­pe­ri­enced up close or through ‘binoc­u­lars’. Look­ing through the binoc­u­lars at the Homo sapi­ens or an­other human species re­con­structed by the artists Ken­nis & Ken­nis, one sees a dig­i­tal dio­rama of the life­like fig­ures in their in­dige­nous set­tings. The viewer feels as though they are in­side the land­scape, cir­cling the fig­ures. In order to achieve this ef­fect, each en­vi­ron­ment was built in 3D and a vir­tual track­ing shot was de­signed. The data of the vir­tual flight was used to film the phys­i­cal re­con­struc­tions with a mo­tion con­trol sys­tem that fol­lowed the exact per­spec­tive of the vir­tual cam­era. Thus a seam­less in­te­gra­tion of the fig­ure into the 3D en­vi­ron­ment was achieved. As a re­sult, the viewer gets a rich im­pres­sion of the habi­tats while the fig­ures keep their strong phys­i­cal pres­ence.

On the lower ground floor, vis­i­tors can make a di­rect con­nec­tion be­tween the skulls of var­i­ous human species and their re­con­structed heads with the help of the re­flec­tive dis­plays cre­ated by ART+COM Stu­dios. The re­flec­tive glass su­per­im­poses the re­flec­tion of the skull on the mod­elled head and vice versa.