The New Dimensions in Testimony installation that has been on display at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. this summer will close after Labor Day Weekend.
This was the first time New Dimensions in Testimony (NDT) was installed in a museum setting as an un-moderated experience. Any museum visitor could walk up to the screen and speak into a microphone to ask the virtual image of Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter a question about his life before, during and after the Holocaust.
The display is in the Wexner Center Room 1, Friday-Tuesday 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Wednesday – Thursday 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
During its first few days at the museum, hundreds of visitors of all ages and backgrounds interacted with New Dimensions in Testimony. Some returned multiple times to ask more questions. Others at first mistook the display of Gutter as a Skype call because the technology is so lifelike and it answers questions so accurately.
Attendees at the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival in England in June 2016 also had the opportunity to engage with NDT as it appeared at USHMM. NDT was on display alongside other virtual reality projects at one of the festival’s gallery spaces and was consistently ranked one of the “must-sees” of the festival.
Just like at USHMM, Sheffield audiences were amazed by the cutting-edge technology and powerful storytelling of NDT. The booth was consistently full of festivalgoers asking Pinchas questions, some even returning more than once and bringing friends.
NDT ultimately took home both the jury and audience prizes in the festival’s Alternate Realities interactive category.
The pilot interview with Gutter debuted at Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center last year, however, museum docents moderated the conversations between the virtual Gutter and audiences.
NDT staff are currently planning for the next installation at a museum to be announced in the United States.