Place-Hampi
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Image from within the Place-Hampi system showing different locations to travel to.
Photograph of person using the Place-Hampi system.
Another photograph of a person using the Place-Hampi system.

Place-Hampi is a ground breaking new media art installation that elevates cultural heritage to a new level of experience. It is an embodied theatre of participation in the drama of Hindu mythology focused at the most significant archaeological, historical and sacred locations of the World Heritage site Vijayanagara (Hampi), South India.

Place-Hampi’s innovatively designed visualisation and interaction environment articulates an unprecedented level of viewer co-presence in a narrative rediscovery of a cultural landscape. Using a motorized platform the viewers can rotate the projected image within a 360-degree screen and explore eighteen high-resolution augmented stereoscopic panoramas of Hampi’s most interesting locations.

Embedded within this rich scenery are lively narrative events enacted by computer graphic characters based on the mythological deities. These animations are drawn from figures in the classical Hindi epic the Ramayana and those relevant to the site of Hampi using the popular aesthetics of “magical realism”.

The visual landscape is contained within a spatial sound field made from 360-degree ambisonic recordings, enlivened by classical Carnatic musical compositions. As the user controls and navigates the space the dynamic interactive rendering system delivers a sonic experience that is intimately connected with the visually panoramic and augmented space.

While PLACE-Hampi embodies a single user interaction model, the autonomous narrative scenarios that populate each of the panoramic scenes with mythological significance become endowed with the emergent narrative relations to become a kinaesthetic performance involving the entire audience.

PLACE-Hampi provides a framework for a new approach to the expression of the cultural experience, whose aesthetic and representational features gives a dramatic new appreciation of the many layered significations of such historical, archaeological, and architectural spaces.