Earlier this year I went to Melbourne to train for Monash University’s Green Steps program. Having never been to the city before, I took the opportunity to see a lot of sights (in one day I basically did two laps of the city plus the entire botanic gardens on foot… it took me 10 hours!).
While I was there, I visited the Immigration Museum. It’s quite good, and has some uncomfortable truths about Australia’s immigration policies which I wasn’t aware of, as well as stories of immigrants and other relatively standard museum fare. However, there was one display which absolutely captivated me: it was the exhibit of a project known as PLACE-HAMPI.
The website has a lot of information about the exhibit; the essence is a photographic study of an area of ancient ruins in India which were gathered over around 30 years. The jewel in the crown is a circular viewing room with a rotating projector platform which shows 360 degree, 3D panoramas of 18 sites in the area. The panoramas are packed with amazing detail, and while viewing a panorama, ambient sound from the location plays over the speakers.
The panoramas can be viewed via the map on the website, though the computer screen doesn’t do justice to the full viewing experience. In addition to the viewing room are several lightrooms containing ‘outtake’ panoramas, lifestyle shots and stories from the ongoing research. The quality of the photography and the design of the exhibit blew me away – I spent about an hour and a half in it and only left because I had a plane to catch!
If you happen to be in Melbourne and can check it out, I can’t recommend it highly enough. If not, have a look on the site – there are some great photos, though I’m not sure if the magic would be all there.