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Oct. 27, 2013

Guerrilla AR  by Roula Tsapalas

Exhibition announcement for ManefestAR

Imagine walking through a city and encountering art, political messages and educational content superimposed, or “augmented” as a three dimensional layer onto the environment?  These layers are only visible for those who know to look, (as if you are a part of a secret club), allowed to enter by downloading an app and seeing the world a little differently.
Meet ManifestAR, an international artists’ collective working with augmented reality as interventionist public art.  The exhibit gathers artists to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC to explore opportunities of time and place with emergent technologies. 
The power of memorials is being there  - at the location of a particular event.  And although the event has passed, new technologies can transport us back to the moment.  Whether we go back in time to the event, or are called to another place to reflect on the event, these memorials bring powerful emotions into play.

John Craig Freemans SquARed, Tank Man and Goddess of Democracy 2011

With the aid of an app, visit Tiananmen Square today and see it in June 1989 with Tank Man and the Goddess of Democracy.  Imagine all the possibilities to view history over today’s backdrop.


John Craig Freeman's Sandy Hook Memorial, 2013

Not only the Sandy Hook victims, but all shooting victims are represented in this augmented memorial of 25 children’s backpacks and 6 teacher’s apples. Only a virtual or augmented view like this could exist in front of the Capitol.  Being placed in front of the Capitol instead of the actual shooting site makes a statement about the intended audience. 

Shades of Absence, Tamiko Tiehl, 2013

Shades of Absence:  Governing Bodies reveals silhouettes of the artists Robert Mapplethorpe and Paul Cadmus in the spaces of the institutions that censored their work (Corcoran Gallery of Art, United States Capitol Building, and the National Endowment for the Arts offices in the Old Post Office Pavilion). (Tamiko Tiehl, 2013)


The Border Memorial, John Craig Freeman and Mark Skwarek, 2013

The Border Memorial documents the locations where human remains have been found in the southwest desert of the United States and Mexico border.  A life sized three- dimensional skeleton effigy marks the location of each body.

Crowd Sourcing and Visitor Participation
In today’s digital world of social media, crowd sourcing and feedback, AR examples offer opportunities for viewers to contribute.  Add a comment, visual model or biofeedback and contribute to the message and experience.

Sky Petition City, Will Pappenheimer and Zachary Brady, 2013

In Sky Petition City, participants write their messages above several different DC. Locations; each message replaced by the next writer.  All can be seen at once at the Washington monument. 



AR Occupy Wall Street, Mark Skwarek, 2011

Mark Skwarek’s AR Occupy Wall Street invited people to join in a Flash Mob on Wall Street for a virtual protest.  Only those with digital devices could participate and witness the mobs of people, flaming bull and slot machine façade of the Wall Street building.  Before the event, AR artists were invited to contribute their own three dimensional images to add to the visual landscape. 

Mark Skwarek also created an augmented reality software for the general public, CreatAR which amassed a library of over 200 3D objects on-line.

Biomer Skelters, Tamiko Thiel and Will Pappenheimer, 2012

A Liverpool museum’s historical botanical collection gets planted into the surrounding landscape based on a person’s biorhythms. Biomer Skelters is a crowd sourced augmented reality public artwork. The participant is outfitted with a mobile heart rate monitor system then propagates different plantings depending on the person’s biosensing data. 

What is the future of Augmented Reality? Who will be providing its content? The general public? Artists and designers? Schools and museums? Politicians and marketers? Augmented Reality can establish a powerful sense of place through its direct relationship to our three dimensional world. And we are only beginning to imagine its applications.

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