Through the Looking Glass. Cultural Heritage Custodians to Populate the Mirrorworld

Susan Hazan


This contribution is a wake-up call to custodians of cultural heritage to get ready and prepare for the next platform – the 3D and 4D experiences of the nascent Mirrorworld. Built upon the first generations of online experience, the sprawling communication platform of the World Wide Web, and driven by the ubiquitous reach of social networks and online gaming, the Mirrorworld will breach the glass ceiling of 2D experiences to draw us into a fully functioning 3D environment. Public institutions that manage cultural heritage for visitors, such as galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMS), are ideally placed to seed the spatial communications network that will drive the new platform. Despite the formidable challenges to be surmounted, it is up to custodians of cultural heritage to become proactive in building the Mirrorworld rather than to wait for third party actors to advance commercial interests with imitation culture, simulated histories, or made-up stories. As gatekeepers of cultural artifacts, GLAMs have the capability, the experience, and even the responsibility to tell their stories forcefully, accurately and in fully-functioning 4D.

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