Exhibiting visitor objects and stories

You are walking the corridors of the National Museum of Serbia. Strolling down majestic exhibition halls you browse through prehistoric and medieval artefacts as well as modern artwork by major European artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh and Mondrian. On the side of an old painting depicting a battle scene you find a label with a hashtag written with a peculiar font, saying: “#war”. You scan the label with your phone, and suddenly the phone’s camera projects a virtual object in front of you: A red triangular warning sign that reads “MINES”. Below it, a text appears:

“Serbian Sarajevo, winter of 1995, Dayton agreement just signed. I’m twenty-two years old and filming a documentary film. The surrounding streets all barricaded, everything is ruined, abandoned, the buildings are riddled with shrapnel. The street before me is empty, without a living creature in sight. I spot a single rope across it with a red sign hanging that reads “mines”. I walk up to it and take it down, without fear and without logic I decide to keep it as a souvenir. I keep the MINES sign as an anti war protest sign, in preparation, because there will be more of them to come.”

This is a part of the “Your Stories” project, in which the National Museum of Serbia has invited citizens to virtually “donate” mundane objects of great personal importance to them. In collaboration with NextGame, the museum used ScannerBox to scan and exhibit the objects as virtual 3D models along with a short text explaining the significance of the object for the person who donated it. This collection of virtual objects attached to physical museum objects sets up a participatory exhibition – a “people’s museum”.

Several dozen objects were contributed for scanning, with 46 high-quality 3D models being produced and made available through the museum’s public channel.