Historical APPistemology

The Mapping of the Expanded Field of Cultural Heritage AR Apps as a Creative Tool

  • Liron Efrat (Author)
    Department of Art History, University of Toronto

Identifiers (Article)


Today, AR apps for museums, archives, and cultural heritage sites enjoy increasing popularity among visitors and institutions alike. While such apps make a significant impact on our engagement with cultural memory and narratives, these AR projects are usually discussed either in isolation or as a part of a larger consideration of the contemporary culture of digital heritage. This paper exceeds the individual analysis of AR projects and examines such cultural heritage apps in relation to one another to map their existing forms and understand them as a creative tool as well as a mode of cultural production.

I adjust Rosalind Krauss’ scheme of the Expanded Field (1979) in order to map the different forms of AR’s temporal paradigm. In doing this, I demonstrate how these in-situ, synchronized mobile interactions illuminate specific social and cultural conditions and spatial politics through the mixing of virtual and actual pasts and futures. I further discuss how my scheme can be used as a practical tool in the development of future projects, and how it is useful in mapping and thinking through some of the essential issues that underlie many AR projects, such as digital memory, narratives’ centralization, and the linearity of history.


augmented reality, cultural heritage, data-driven narratives, GLAM institutions, locative media
How to Cite
Efrat, Liron. 2021. “Historical APPistemology: The Mapping of the Expanded Field of Cultural Heritage AR Apps As a Creative Tool”. International Journal for Digital Art History, no. 6 (October):3.02-3.15. https://doi.org/10.11588/dah.2021.6.63730.