Virtual Gallery Viewing in Pandemic Times: Fotohof and Fabrik


By Gerhard Clausing

In this time of ongoing pandemic home isolation, we are happy to see that many photography galleries are expanding their reach by further developing their online display options. The most obvious way of doing such an outreach is to create a visual 3D representation of the gallery that viewers can experience virtually, creating a visit that is as close to the real thing as possible.

And yet there are substantial differences in what is possible, both in depth and in degree of sophistication.

Some galleries place special importance on building a virtual reality that simulates the actual physical space of the real gallery. You step into it, see the reception desk (without a virtual host or hostess, unfortunately), and then walk into the space to view the art works in a similar manner to what you would do in reality. The prints  are shown on the wall in a way that is similar to the physical gallery displays, or even an exact duplicate. One such example is the Fotohof Gallery in Salzburg, Austria, shown here:

As you can see, the visitor does not lose sight of the physical location, since you can use your mouse or touchpad to look outside, as well as to take positions in front of each photograph to view it up close. There are a number of examples from Fotohof Gallery on that developer page.

An expanded and even more elaborate is the model adopted by Fabrik Gallery in Los Angeles, featuring the exhibition “Here Comes the Sun.”

This virtual gallery creation takes us beyond the walls of the actual gallery. There are three virtual gallery spaces, along with related links. We are able to see more of the gallery’s artists at the same time (Douglas Stockdale, Lisa McCord, Maureen Haldeman, SameSource, Cathy Immordino, and many others), there is more information about each individual art piece, a guided tour, some with recorded audio, and you can check prices and order prints as well. This certainly seems to be the way of the future, especially since driving long distances can be arduous and the pandemic is far from over. Check these virtual presentations out yourself:

It would be great if such virtual galleries would continue to exist even after the pandemic is over.

Here are some screenshots from Fabrik Projects:





Articles and photographs published on PhotoExchange Journal may not be reproduced without the permission of the PhotoExchange Journal staff and the photographer(s).

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