Artists are always right in there with emergent technologies and social and political change. We’re sort of useless, we care about extremely weird and irrelevant stuff, yet manage to have ideas and actions that predate what’s the norm pretty early on in the piece.
Apparently its just a myth that The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station, 1895, A and L Lumiere, had people running and screaming for real. It could have been a great example of augmented reality terror!
Picasso still irritates some with this reality, but augmented reality has really stuck around in 2D art since then.
Mixed reality isn’t new. Belief in god or spirituality is a combination of shared physical reality and an individual overlay of perception, augmenting and value adding how the world is experienced.
Augmented reality as an emergent technology is something I learned about just now, being asked to explore its implications and how artists are using it. Yes artists use it because its new, which is fun and good for creativity and spreading their word and generally any other practical use it can be put to, its also potentially free to use it well because it is new, so good for students and no unaccessable budget worries for pioneers of a brave new technology.
this plus this ……..
….and throw in pcs and the internet, and now we have our most current devices, the smartphone and tablet, personal hand held phones and computers whose connectivity, size, touchscreen and capacity for picture and video capture already makes it part of us. How many hours in a day would we not have one in close proximity, we hold it to our ear, we assault it with the pads of our fingers and thumb, and hold it in front of us to film and snap pics. Mine charges next to my head at night.
Augmented reality through these devices, occurs when we use the tool to view the world, but with visual physical values added only at the time we look through it. It relates to the space and time we are there.
When we experience territories, we create stories. We model these stories using mental maps, referring to one person’s point of view perception of their own world, influenced by that person’s culture, background, mood and emotional state, instantaneous goals and objectives, 1
In this, our mental maps – the personal representations of the city which we build in our minds to navigate them to fulfill our needs and desires – live a complex life as our perception joins into the great performance of the city, 2.
Another technology in infancy is the Google “eyeware”. This is the glasses version of what is already in use today with apps. What artists muse in galleries and other spaces now, and other general uses, we will all soon be using to shop, game, translate language on a trip, by using our eyeballs. 3
Hans RichtAR @ Hans Richter: Encounters, LACMA, was an augmented reality art show in Los Angeles in 2013. Here is a classically artistic use of the app, only using ipads. The walls of the gallery had works originating from Film und Foto, (FIFO) which was designed by El Lissitzky and wife Sofie Lissitzky-Kuppers, in Stuttgart in 1929. Hans Richter was the film curator of of these works. The Lissitzkys were struggling to separate from the old ways of the fixed stage theatre and to explore the infant medium of film as a dynamic art of its own.
So Richter in empathy interacts with the works, asking the same questions except the medium is virtual technology, and the images he projects are installations. Perhaps augmentation technology that feels like three dimensions could finally free film from its chains in two dimensional theatre based reality, 80 or 90 years later. 4
A Harvard student project using the Layar app, applied a study of statistics in contemporary art, such as how many male and female artists, who owned works, and many other numbers to examine many complexities. The Layar app will show images and videos when it passes over “the numerical structure found in the panel”. The visual format helped show the public in a way that could be easily communicated. 5
The future of augmentation technologies looks bright. It seems for artists and in life generally, it brings yet another leap in what we thought was possible. The visual overlay becomes real, all the time, wherever we move and we come to rely on it and take it for granted. The drawer, printmaker, painter, sculptor, film maker, will find it alluring as much as those using computers and apps to make art, who are already technologically proficient.
The individual is further immersed in the world of technology, with choices and options multiplying exponentially. Any person living in the old ways of only seeing the world with the naked eye will not be elligible for the simplest of social rights, such as avoiding the internet today would be impossible.
The augmentation technology is intrinsically creative as it is visual, imaginative, needs to be designed and constructed and transmissible to anywhere.
I can see the immense good, average and bad outcomes from this further merge between human and machine.
Artists will be in there, revelling in it and talking about the weird and the unjust that comes from a tool like this.
REFERENCES FOR TEXT AND IMAGES
Reference 1 and 2
Iaconesi, S. and Persico, O. (2014). “An Emotional Compass: Emotions on Social Networks and a new Experience of Cities” in Augmented Reality Art: From an Emerging Technology to a Novel Creative Medium, part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing, Geroimenko, Vladimir (Ed.). New York: Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-06202-