WIN members unite! Art & Technology

WIN members unite! Art & Technology

by Melissa Deep


WIN members unite! Art & Technology

We met through the WIN chat.

Scared to death, I jumped on the back of her motorino and we whisked through the bumpy streets of Florence, swerving around countless tourist aimlessly blocking traffic trying to get the perfect selfie…..

This summer in Forte dei Marmi, When Elia Nichols suggested I join WIN, I was honestly hesitant wondering how much value, beyond the obvious social aspect, this group could bring.

Having recently launched an innovative start-up, I was anxious to find contacts, collaborators, clients, or just English speakers as a sounding board for ideas, growth and funding.

The start up, VIRTIQUE, is a platform allowing small business owners to showcase their brick and mortar activities via new immersive technologies including virtual and augmented reality at an affordable price, while joining a network of other small and medium businesses. We have over 200 virtual experiences with over 1.2 million “virtual shoppers” to date via the platform. A full B2B2C service, allowing clients to integrate this new way of shopping for consumers into their existing advertising and marketing campaigns. Blah, blah, blah… sorry. I get carried away.

Within 2 weeks, through the WIN chat, I not only met several members who have been helpful with ideas, but one in particular who recently collaborated with me to bring her passion for Art & Technology to fruition – Carlotta Fuhs.

Our story begins with a Saturday morning get-to-know-you call, where Carlotta explained her experience and passion for art combined with her curiosity for Virtual Reality, inspired by her brother in Germany. She already had amazing ideas on how we could provide a valuable service to one of her contacts in Florence. She already had the cumbersome annoying goggles, which as you will find are not even necessary to enjoy this new way of viewing the digital world.

So the next Saturday, we scheduled a shooting at the Fornaciai Art Gallery. I brought my equipment and we registered the gallery in 3D virtual reality. We brainstormed on how to use this technology to help the gallery show and sell the art works. We captured the exhibit of Alain Bonnefoit in 3D which was closing that Thursday. We decided that not only would it be a good idea to have a second virtual tour of the Gallery collection for sale, but a 3rd virtual tour of the gallery

completely empty. Why empty? because with VIRTIQUE, any artist can insert their art and create their own “virtual exhibit”.

That day Carlotta graciously welcomed me into her home and we enjoyed a home cooked lunch and each other’s company.

So I returned to Florence on Friday, after dropping my son off for school, drove the 1.5 hours from Forte dei Marmi, and was in Florence by 10:00. Drumming up my courage, and against my better judgement I hopped on the back of Carlotta’s motorino, terrified, to get from the parking lot to the gallery, and we finished the job.

Here are a few pictures from our days together. We had a lot of fun and created something useful and interesting. Click here to see the results! (

Click here with a smartphone to view one of the artworks in Augmented Reality. Just click the link, click see in AR, position your smartphone to place it on your wall!

Carlotta and I will continue to collaborate and create. I can’t wait to find out will join us next….maybe you?

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