In this week’s show, we visited a fascinating project – a house in Pompeii, the city in Southern Italy that was famously destroyed by a volcano in AD79 (for more information about that, go here). But that, in fact, is only the start of the story, because we were not visiting a Second Life reconstruction of Pompeii as it is now, or even a reconstruction of Pompeii as it was prior to AD79, but a recreation of a house in Pompeii that was recreated for the Crystal Palace in 1854.
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The project is the creation of Gwendoline Beningborough and Lucien Kranfel, the avatars of the real life Dr Shelley Hales and Dr Nic Earle from Bristol University. Shelley is a Senior Lecturer in Art and Visual Culture in the Department of Classics & Ancient History, while Nic is E-Learning Co-ordinator at the Education Support Unit and we explored – with them – a fascinating bringing together of three immersive environments, one modern, one Victorian, and the other from Ancient Rome – or, at least, a conception of Ancient Rome!
This was a show packed with information about Roman Pompeii, the Victorian response to it – and how our construction of immersive environments in Second Life echoes the Victorian attempt to create similar immersive environments too.
And there’s morel about The Great Exhibition, the Crystal Palace … and the development of some exciting educational projects on many levels.