“Anywhere, somewhere, MaxWhere” – bringing virtual art galleries to all

I recently had the honour of meeting a truly brilliant and creative individual, Péter Baranyi –  mastermind of MaxWhere with Péter Galambos, sculptor and conceptual father of cognitive infocommunications: which investigates links between recent infocommunication, engineering applications and cognitive sciences.

During the interview, Péter instantly radiated his enthusiasm for new technologies – expressing how they can enhance and extend our lives; rather than taking us away or alienating us from our ‘realities’. The future is already here, and has touched almost every aspect of our everyday lives. We are living, thinking, creating and perceiving faster than we’ve ever done before. Take for example the phenomenon of cognitive infocommunications  – which is hardly a century old. Péter explains that it’s ‘kind of like a cocktail’ – where all the ingredients are finely mixed to create an enjoyable outcome, with our cognitive behaviour blending with the technologies and applications surrounding us; a blurred line which is almost invisible to younger generations. Péter claims that we are on the verge of a technological evolution shift, where ‘old fashioned’ operational systems will be replaced by significantly more applicable solutions – solutions that adapt to, interact with and better serve our continuously expanding minds. But the true innovation is that new realities won’t need to be manifest in material form – rather just by visualizing them we can make them exist, adds Péter.

And here is where MaxWhere comes into the picture –  an application that improves cognitive understanding and better captures attention by directly activating the parietal lobe (the area of the brain responsible for spatial vision and awareness in our brain). Péter jokingly adds that even a dog can use it – which is not so surprising, as animals have heightened spatial visual understanding, they perform much better in 3D. Research carried out during the development of MaxWhere, shows how this virtual operating system actually makes workflow 30-50% faster, more effective and more enjoyable. It’s no wonder, as 3D is the most natural way for us to understand our world.

Imagine a 3D visual room – available to individuals for free (and to companies for a small monthly fee) – where VR glasses and extra memory are not needed. A space where everything is possible. And I mean everything! For example, you can override gravitational forces and move through walls as if you were a superhero!  But what’s even more important is that it’s highly functional and can add a great deal to your gallery’s value. You can create portfolio presentations, build gallery space and curate your own shows. Simply anything is possible, as it’s all being created in a 3D virtual space – where invited guests can join the party in the ‘cloud’.

You might question how all this can possibly replace the special experience of actually going to a ‘real’ exhibition and seeing works of art with your own eyes – perhaps even inhaling the fumes drifting off fresh paintings. Péter highlights that this virtual experience is not a replacement but an enhancement – adding one more world into your life. For instance, a small gallery already commissioned him and his team to expand its options by installing a flat screen displaying MaxWhere, so as to allow spectators to virtually visit and view the gallery’s collection – which is in real life stored away due to lack of exhibition space.  MaxWhere has also helped the public to better understand art. Thanks to their latest collaboration, students could better appreciate historical paintings in their actual size – such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa – by placing them in 3D virtual spaces.

Prof. Péter Baranyi Ph,D., D.Sc., Head of the Multidisciplinary Ph.D. School of Engineering, Szechenyi Istvan University, Hungary

Prof. Péter Baranyi Ph,D., D.Sc., Head of the Multidisciplinary Ph.D. School of Engineering, Szechenyi Istvan University, Hungary

To all the artists out there, picture it for a moment: instead of sending your ‘normal’ pdf portfolio, you could send a 3D presentation of your work – already installed in a virtual exhibition space where you define what can be seen and how, with the possibility of constructing the gallery space itself – where the only limitation is your imagination. To top it all, you could even include an audio guide to explain your creations! These possibilities are now a reality. Peter and his team are currently working on enhancing the quality of the software – so as to embed images into its spaces better, to enable heightened visual reproduction.

Gallery Tool and MaxWhere are also currently developing a program to help young emerging artists to be more visible to the art market by 3D virtual representation. This upcoming cooperation hopes to bring technological advancements into the art world – so as to provide all its players with a more effective and visually enhanced experience.

Author: Marta Balla

About Marta Balla

1980, lives and works in Budapest, Hungary

Marta Balla graduated from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Spain. She holds an MA specialized in painting and art theory. She has exhibited in solo and collective shows in Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Spain and the US.  She is also involved in curating and social art projects, and has been invited to international conferences to talk about her art and process.  She teaches traditional painting techniques nationally and internationally. She is also an art therapist, using different artistic expressions and storytelling in the therapeutic process. Marta has been practicing aikido, a non-violent Japanese martial art for 15 years. She has been engaged in contact improvisation dance for 3 years which lead her to more exploration in performance art.