Share

Written by Stephen Siwinski, Neon Museum Project Manager

going global blog

Victor with the neon work “Harvesting Dreams and Fireflies With My Brother”

Pre-pandemic the Education Department would open the doors of its Ne10 Studio to invite museum members, guests and supporters of the Las Vegas arts community to enjoy the artworks created by its roster of visiting visionaries. Guests could mingle among the artwork and take part in an intimate conversation with the artist in the indoor space where much of their work was created. How could our team safely recreate this up close and personal experience given the challenges brought on by the pandemic?

Meet Matterport.

matterport

Courtesy of Matterport.

Earlier in 2020, The Neon Museum was looking for a solution to a similar challenge when the effects of the spread of COVID-19 caused it to pause and close its doors into the main collection at the Boneyard. The Museum wanted to find a way to “keep the lights on” for our visitors in a safe and informative way. After some research, it was found that other museums were making use of an immersive 360 photography platform known as Matterport.

Matterport cameras take a series of 360-degree photos and stitch them together using patented laser-guided technology. Each photo this special camera takes is used to create a map from point to point. Invisible lasers projected from the camera help tell the unit where it is located in relation to the surroundings. Diligently moving the camera through space a few feet at a time forms a seamless walkthrough when loaded into the Matterport viewing platform. After a space is scanned, an administrator can edit the walkthrough adding additional supportive content such as photos, videos, audio clips and informative text. The result can be embedded into a website for virtual visitors to enjoy and walk through from the off-site location of their personal computer. Pants optional, unlike the museum.

This technology lent itself perfectly to capturing Victor’s artist in residence installation. The scale and texture of his artwork could be experienced in a way that a simple photo or video would not allow. Following the installation of his work in the Ne10 space, museum staff began to scan more than 120 unique data points throughout the warehouse. Each scan created a unique viewing angle for visitors and allowed them to create a personal self-guided walk through the space.

NE10 scanned space

Matterport image with support information links added.

The next step was to add content to the scan. Throughout Victor’s residency, hundreds of photos were captured of the artist at work, in various stages of creation and interacting with members of the Las Vegas community. Images and videos were selected to help tell the story of the exhibit from the first strokes of the paintbrush in the Juhl studio space to his time spent in the Hartlauer Signs glass shop with skilled neon bender, Oscar Gonzalez.

victor

Victor works in the Juhl studio space | Victor assembles wireframe of Masquerade in the Ne10 Studio | Victor meets with neon bender Oscar at Hartlauer Signs.

The team also sat down with Victor to record a series of audio interviews on each of the works featured in the open studio, giving virtual visitors the ability to hear about these creations straight from the artist at the click of a mouse. Museum members were invited to a special Zoom webinar where they were guided through the space as they sat back and enjoyed an in-depth conversation about each of the pieces in “What You Mean To Me.” The guided tour was followed up by a question and answer session that added an extra layer of understanding to the assembled works and showcased Victor's passion for his newfound medium of neon.

When all these pieces were added together, they formed a cohesive portrait of what it would be like to be in the room with Victor as he walked through the Ne10 studio. Clicking through the tour provides a personal tour of “What You Mean To Me.” This technology not only allows the museum to give visitors a safe way to interact with the collection, but it also enables it to extend the reach of its artistic and educational offerings. Now people from the other side of the globe can have an equal opportunity to take part in the content and conversation offered by The Neon Museum.

  

victor silhouettedVictor with the neon work “Harvesting Dreams and Fireflies With My Brother”

We invite you to take it for a spin yourself! Visit: 360 Tour of 2020 Artist in Residence.

Let us know what you think! How else could this technology be used to tell the story of Las Vegas’ glowing past and bright future? Please share your comments and suggestions with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This program is supported, in part, by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the State of Nevada. The Neon Museum would also like to acknowledge the generous support of Juhl Las Vegas.

Join Our Mailing List

Stay updated on upcoming events, special offers, and more.