DETROIT — At a media preview on January 9, the Detroit Institute of Arts introduced Lumin, a new interpretive guide developed in partnership with Google and an augmented reality (AR) platform creator called GuidiGO. Subsequently, a tempest of conflicting emotions was triggered in the soul of this arts writer.
The dusty old curmudgeon in the heart of my being sighed with disappointment at this imposition of screen-based technology on yet another facet of our existence. And not just any! Art! A most hallowed and ancient form of looking, wondering, and communing with humanity through the ages!
On the other hand, geez, I even bore myself when I talk this way, and after taking it for a test run, there is no denying that Lumin is pretty freakin’ cool. It’s like if Pokémon Go could make you smarter, instead of … whatever it currently does (I don’t know; I am a curmudgeon). Because, while the Pokémon Go craze encouraged people to go out in public and then basically ignore public in favor of catching little digital creatures (right? I am hip! I am with it!), Lumin offers museumgoers an opportunity to look closer and, by providing critical context, expand their understanding of a given art object.