Poison is an immersive experience exhibited at MUNCH in Oslo from October 2021 to the end of January 2022. The small 40 m² space had almost 100.000 visitors during this period.

The experience consists of three chambers, where an evolving and unsettling soundscape fills the space. Walking through three chambers, the visitors encounter digital projections, resembling works from Edvard Munch’s series of painting The Green Room (1907). The paintings are eerie and similar but at the same time unstable and hard to pin down as a coherent story. So is the atmosphere of Poison. The projections change and adapt to the visitors’ presence, and the soundscape is shaped by each footstep. After reading the final text in the last chamber, the green color tints the vision of the visitors and follows them out of the space.

Poison is part of my Ph.D. project. By creating an experience like Poison we are able to investigate new ways of using technology for experience design in the art museum domain. Art museums are generally more reluctant at using experience technologies in their art education, while other types of museums are whole-heartedly embracing new experience technologies to tell stories and explain concepts.

Accepting that the curation and the presentation of art always happen in correspondence with artworks, allows us to think about how experiences in the art museum can help visitors correspond with the artworks and help to see what they would have otherwise have ignored or failed to see. We intend to do this by creating aesthetic experiences that educate the attention of museum visitors.

This concept for this project has been developed with Nikita Mathias, senior concept developer at MUNCH, and our intern Dina Patey. Birgitte Aga organized the recruitment of the test participants throughout the project. The final iteration of the experience was created by the research division of Random International, Thorsteinsen Design, myself, and MUNCH. Martin Horntveth has made the soundtrack for the experience.