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University Galleries launch interactive 'Musing' app for museums

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
November 4, 2013

The University Galleries at Texas State University have released a new iPhone application for museums, called Musing, that promises to be a much more engaging experience for museum visitors.

Musing is an augmented reality iPhone application that allows the visitor to scan artworks in the gallery in order to learn more about its historical relevance, watch video interviews with the artist and learn about techniques used. The app allows visitors to learn much more about the artwork than what could be normally be presented in the wall labels traditionally used by museums. By placing links, or "points of interest,” directly over the image being viewed on the iPhone screen, museum administrators are able to place pertinent information exactly where they want on the image, allowing them to pinpoint specific areas of interest in the artwork.

Dan Tamir of the Department of Computer Science, along with computer science students Gentry Atkinson and Kevin Whiteside, developed the application in collaboration with Grayson Lawrence of the Communication Design Program and Mary Mikel Stump, University Galleries director. The partnership represents the first time Computer Science and Communication Design have collaborated on a project of this kind.

Musing was launched to accompany a new exhibition of work by Houston artist Eric Zimmerman. The exhibition, titled West of the Hudson, is a collection of drawings, sculptural objects, publications, diagrams, writing and collage, utilizing the Native American myth of the bobcat (fog) and the coyote (wind) as his specific point of departure.

Musing can be downloaded from Apple’s App store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/musing/id694382407?ls=1&mt=8). Eric Zimmerman: West of the Hudson will be running until Nov. 14 at the University Galleries, located in the Joan Cole Mitte Art Building. For more information and directions, visit www.txstgalleries.org.