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putting the ar into ART

Arts & culture has been amongst the frontrunners of immersive technology. Quick to see its creative and artistic possibilities, many organisations within the sector have consistently demonstrated their forward thinking and progressive, innovative approach to audience engagement. In addition to its growing use as an artistic medium, AR is also playing an important role in taking artworks and cultural content out to wider audiences, and giving it life and longevity beyond traditional performance or installation periods.

To learn more about AR and the arts, read on or get in touch


The addition of immersive technology to traditional arts and culture practices is full of potential. From artists exploring new mediums or seeking to add a new dimension (literally) to their work, to commissioners looking for innovative ways to present and preserve their creative programmes, AR is proving its worth.

Here are a few examples of AR in action:

A VIXEN'S TALE // Attracting new audiences

Welsh National Opera has a track record of innovation, and asked Arcade to create an immersive experience inspired by Leoš Janáček’s 'The Cunning Little Vixen' as a way of attracting new, younger opera audiences. Fusing together music and theatre with augmented reality, visitors could use iPhone XR devices paired with stylised bluetooth headphones to ‘follow the vixen’ through a series of gamified vignettes, each unlocking a section of the story. The dramatic experience plays out across a series of five beautifully crafted wooden arches that represent the passing of time and the vixen’s personal emotional narrative arc.

Read more about the experience here.


Camden Alive is an arts and culture platform developed by Camden Council. As a part of their London Borough of Culture application, the council wanted to use immersive technology to bring a series of artworks to life in a newly created, virtual 'Camden People's Museum'. Each artwork is the result of a collaboration between artists and local residents, and celebrate the stories and history of this iconic borough and its people. A free app shows the location of the works, and invite residents and visitors alike to explore the borough, experiencing the works in magical AR as they go.

Learn more and see the app in action here.

MUSIC WALK OF FAME // Animating the Inanimate

Arcade were selected as partners to design, create and provide the AR experiences that can be triggered by each stone on Camden's Music Walk of Fame. Using a free app, visitors can bring each stone to life and access the AR experience that is revealed. To date, that includes hearing exclusive content ahead of The Who’s latest album release, joining the Madness ‘nutty train’, taking a memorial photograph of sadly-missed icon Amy Winehouse on the streets she loved so much, and getting ‘back to life’ with Soul II Soul. Importantly, these experiences trigger directly from the stones themselves, ‘anchoring’ the AR in physical, real-world objects. The effect is believable, ‘authentic’ digital experiences that feel real, even though we know they are not.

Read more about the experience and see it in action here.

Arcade Team at Apple Covent Garden

How do I get started?

As you can see from the examples above, AR can be used for a variety of different purposes. The most important startpoint is to identify the challenges you are trying to address, whether creative, strategic or a mixture of the two. They might be focused on engaging mass audiences on a global scale or enhancing the viewer experience at an installation but could also include commercial objectives like creating new revenue streams.

Or, if you’re not sure exactly how to frame the challenge, give us a call and we can help you to work it out!

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Further Reading