Overview of the MAR 360° platform, developed by the Municipal Department of Culture of São Paulo. Photo: reproduction

MMore than 70 murals are part of the São Paulo Street Art Museum (MAR). Scattered across the city and separated by miles, they can now be seen all at once, in an immersive experience in a virtual environment. Named SEA 360°, the Municipal Department of Culture project is the first virtual reality version of an open-air museum in the world. 

Between capturing images, formulating texts, programming and executing the platform, it took more than three months of work until the project was on the air in December 2020, with the documentation of about 40 works and more than 110 kilometers of museum. In the first week of May 2021, 30 more works carried out in the last year were included on the website.

Hanna Lucatelli's work became part of the São Paulo Street Art Museum in 2019, based on the Tarsila Inspira project, by the São Paulo City Hall. The work is on Rua Quinze de Novembro, in the Historic Center, and can be seen virtually by MAR 360°. Photo: Pedro Ricci

Our visit to MAR 360° begins in the region of Liberdade, through an interactive map in shades of gray, in which street arts are highlighted by their colors. With cultural spaces as guides, we can navigate through the neighborhoods of São Paulo, selecting the graffiti we would like to see in detail. All this, accompanied by the soundtrack by Tejo Damasceno – a music producer who has worked with names such as Racionais MCs, Nação Zumbi, Sabotage, Diplo and BNegão -, which seeks to add another layer to the immersive experience.

When selecting a mural, the platform gives us an overview of the area where it is located. Designed with gyroscope technology, it still creates the sensation of a first-person view for those who access it on mobile, being sensitive to the viewer's movements. According to TriArts New Media, responsible for the production of the project, the experience can be intensified with the use of VR glasses (Virtual Reality).

An information button next to each work allows us to know more about its meaning, in addition to providing data on the size of the gable and the date the work was completed. For those who do not feel comfortable navigating the simulation of the city, it is possible to visit the works of the São Paulo Street Art Museum through the list of artists, available in the corner of the screen.

At the bottom of the page, the project summary and the technical sheet are accompanied by the city itineraries. Divided into five macro-regions, they allow those who prefer a face-to-face visit to the murals to know exactly where to find them and the best route by car to appreciate all the works in the same area.

The museum

The Street Art Museum is an initiative of the Municipality of São Paulo, in partnership with the Municipal Department of Culture and the Sub-prefectures, which aims to encourage the development of urban art in the streets and avenues of the metropolis. “Within the limitations of the quarantine, MAR is an excellent possibility of offering culture to the city of São Paulo”, comments Hugo Possolo. The creation of the digital platform proposed to intensify this aspect, pointed out by the director general of the Municipal Theater Foundation and former secretary of culture. According to the Secretariat, the virtual alternative would allow people from different parts of the city to have access to the large murals that make up the museum, without having to move around São Paulo and expose themselves to the risk of contracting Covid-19, “with speed and safety. that the current moment asks of us”, he says in an official note. 

Soon, the website will undergo new updates, as the Street Art Museum is in a constant process of construction. This May, the 2021 stage will begin, with 100 new interventions across the city, distributed across all regions. 

“Híbrida – the future is the return”, by Criola. Photo: Pedro Ricci

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