Scenario 5 – Perceiving and Preserving Colors in Born Digital Artworks

Born Digital Art refers to artworks that are created exclusively using digital technologies and exist primarily in digital formats. Unlike traditional artworks that might be digitized after creation, born digital artworks originate in the digital realm and are intended to be experienced via digital platforms. These artworks leverage technologies such as digital imaging, 3D modeling, computer graphics, software programming, and more. The nature of born digital art allows for dynamic interactions and can often be manipulated or experienced in ways that physical art cannot. This type of art is particularly prevalent in fields such as digital installation, virtual reality, augmented reality, and interactive web-based art.


Conserving born digital art poses unique challenges due to the rapid pace of technological change and the dependency on specific technologies. Issues such as technological obsolescence, digital decay, and the reliance on software or platforms that may become outdated necessitate proactive conservation strategies like digital preservation and migration to new formats. Additionally, the perfect reproducibility of digital files raises questions about authenticity and originality, complicating the valuation and conservation efforts. Museums and conservators must also navigate legal and ethical considerations around copyright and the unconventional use of software and hardware. Effective storage and archiving are critical, requiring robust systems to ensure the integrity and accessibility of digital artworks over time.

To be able to make a comparitive anyalsis between the migration of the case study artworks with a artwork “born” into the latest technologies, the scenario includes a premier artwork titled “the Space Art Gallery” which will be realised alonst side the migration of the older works into the the latest technologies.

Case Studies

The PERCEIVE project highlights case studies from a collection of artworks stemming from the pioneer time for AR artworks for public space. These include the following works:

Orators and Propaganda Stands

Artist: John Craig Freeman

Date of Creation: Not specified

Media: Augmented Reality (AR)

Summary: “Orators” is an Augmented Reality artwork created by John Craig Freeman. The piece explores themes of public speech and democracy by allowing viewers to witness virtual orators delivering speeches in various public spaces when viewed through a mobile device or AR headset. The artwork blurs the lines between physical and virtual realities, inviting viewers to reflect on the role of technology in shaping public discourse.

Notable Features: Virtual orators delivering speeches in public spaces, blurring of physical and virtual realities.

Crystal Coffin

Artists: Lily & Honglei

Date of Creation: 2014

Media: Augmented Reality (AR)

Crystal Coffin is an AR artwork created by the Chinese artist duo Lily & Honglei. It is a walk-in pavilion featuring a 3D model of Mao’s crystal coffin, situated within a traditional Chinese-styled pavilion with a sky roof. The artwork prompts viewers to contemplate the symbolism of Mao’s crystal coffin in a traditional Chinese architectural setting, raising questions about history, modernity, and authoritarianism.

Notable Features: 3D model of Mao’s crystal coffin, traditional Chinese architectural setting, symbolism of authoritarianism.

“Ecce Homo”:

Artist: Arthur Clay & Ingo Lie

Date of Creation: 2017

Media: Augmented Reality (AR)

“Ecce Homo” is an AR artwork realized by Virtuale Switzerland for the artist Ingo Lie. It features the artist’s self-portrait divided into eight cubes arranged in a three-dimensional cross, floating above church ruins. The artwork explores themes of interconnectedness and self-perception in the digital age, symbolized by the geometric fragmentation into a cruciform shape.

Notable Features: Artist’s self-portrait divided into cubes, three-dimensional cross, exploration of digital age themes.

Space Art Gallery

Artist: Arthur Clay

Date of Creation: 2024

Media: Virtual Reality (VR) / Augmented Reality (AR)

Throughout history, artists have collaborated with space agencies to place artworks in space, whether as messages to extraterrestrial life or as part of celestial exhibitions. Iconic examples include the “Moon Museum” on the lunar surface and Trevor Paglen’s “Orbital Reflector” orbiting Earth as space junk. “Space Art Gallery” pays homage to these endeavors while avoiding the creation of additional space debris by presenting artworks in a virtual zero gravity space using modern VR/AR technologies.The Space Art Gallery embodies this concept by synthesizing elements from past space artworks and reimagining them in a virtual space environment. Through AR and VR, viewers can explore a galaxy-like gallery populated by constellations of zero gravity artworks, blending vintage pieces with contemporary creations. As viewers navigate through this synthetic space, they experience a surreal journey akin to a science fiction adventure, transcending time and encountering a diverse array of space-inspired art.

“Notable Features: Virtual space gallery, exploration of zero gravity art, blend of vintage and contemporary artworks.