Three persons around a small, square camera.

VR in community museum


This VR project was made with and for Street Art Museum Amsterdam (SAMA), a community museum who are working with VR technology as a way to digitally preserve their collection. I was working with the team as a hands-on project coordinator.

In Street Art Museum Amsterdam I learnt a few benefits about virtual reality. I wanted to take the time to see something from a new perspective, so I came to do a two-months project at Street Art Museum Amsterdam to learn about community museums.

SAMA is a community museum who are working with virtual reality technology as a way to digitally preserve their collection.

A child playing hide and seek, face on the wall between two walls with street art.

Hands of two children holding template to spray colour on the wall.

VR with big artworks or objects

Before SAMA, I was excited but skeptical of the real value and use of VR content, but this experience made me to think a bit differently.

What other kinds of technology can restore and reproduce better the feeling of standing in front of a wall-sized mural after the mural is gone? This is one of the uses of VR or 360°, because murals are bodily experiences, you really need to twist your head and move your body to get the proper sense of it.

I also learned the uniqueness of the collection management in street art museum. Think about any other museum where it would be normal that one day a few artworks are gone forever without warning. In this kind of museum the thought is present and ruling management and planning all the time, it’s in the nature of street art and of SAMA.

Stories behind the artworks

Working with the community and using art as a tool to interact and collaborate was inspiring. There were many levels of understanding the meaning of one artwork: the experience of the locals living with the piece every day, the stories of the professional artists and by the artistic value each piece holds itself.

A group of people in front of an street on the wall

Laboratory for rebels

It was a very interesting experience for me to follow how the community-based eco-museum is working. While most museum can’t function the same way as SAMA, which is highly agile but at times unstructured, there is a need for traditional and experimental ones.

This kind of smaller contemporary museums have ability to be laboratories for new and wild ideas, make them happen and take risks, when bigger ones are moving carefully. It is about creating an environment where all ideas can be shared in order to bring the best ones to daylight.

I got to know all the main parts of the museum: a great team with very diverse backgrounds, guided tours in different languages, internal and public workshops, openings and cooperation with the Impact Hub.