Skip to Main Content

Augmented Curiosities: Virtual Play in African Pasts and Futures

A virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experience in the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies


Curatorial Statement


Technologies inspire the creation of new subjectivities - changing our points of perspective and augmenting the ways in which we perceive. Through our ever-expanding applications of innovation, humans recontextualize realities. We use the tools of the present to formulate our visions of the future and our understandings of the past. Along these explorations of meaning, we apply interfaces of magic upon the seemingly mundane to educate and entertain.
Augmented Curiosities engages our technological entanglements through the emerging, immersive and experiential visualization techniques of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Critiquing the colonial dynamics of the “cabinets of curiosity” which significantly influenced Western museum practices, Augmented Curiosities provides opportunities for intimate and playful interactions with African material culture from the Herskovits Library Collection. Through this digitally tactile experience, we exhibit synergies of the technical and the tangible as a community-oriented framework for future museum curation. 


craig stevens