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Mat Collishaw recreates a photography exhibition of 1839 with VR

From: Mat Collishaw: Thresholds | Somerset House

Using the latest in VR technology, Thresholds restaged one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839, when British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot first presented his photographic prints to the public at King Edward’s School, Birmingham.

The experience was a fully immersive portal to the past; people were able to walk freely throughout a digitally reconstructed room, and touch the bespoke vitrines, fixtures and mouldings; even the heat from a coal fire was recreated. A soundscape for Thresholds included the sound of demonstrations of the Chartist protesters who rioted in 1839 on the streets of Birmingham, and could be glimpsed through the digital windows.