The proliferation of aura

Facsimiles, authenticity and digital objects

Authored by: Sarah Kenderdine , Andrew Yip

The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Media and Communication

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138676305
eBook ISBN: 9781315560168
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315560168-23

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Abstract

This chapter engages with the aura of real, digital, and material copies of objects in the context of museum exhibitions to explore the notion of the “proliferation of aura” as digital artworks reverberate with the original objects they reference. It describes Pure Land Augmented Reality Edition, a virtual reconstruction of a Chinese Buddhist cave installed as part of the antiquities exhibition Tang: 唐 Treasures from the Silk Road Capital at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia. Through an analysis of visitor perceptions, it explores the conditions by which the aura of a work of art proliferates in digital materialities. This chapter builds on emerging models for evaluating affective museum experiences to argue that the authenticity vested in objects is not always solely located in their materiality.

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