Boston, MA – One of the fastest growing areas in the cyber world is augmented reality (AR), a new technology that brings virtual objects into our real world. Using smartphone apps, experience the occupation of the Greenway, Boston Children’s Museum, and CyberartsCentral at Atlantic Wharf by virtual alien invaders in a project mixing alien invasion mythology with a cartoon-like esthetic; and see a virtual exhibition of work by Manifest.AR, an international roster of cyber artists, in and around the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.
During this year’s Boston Cyberarts Festival (April 22 – May 8), augmented reality (AR) interventions, which superimpose computer-generated graphics onto real time environments, can be experienced at several locations in Boston’s Innovation District:
Mark Skwarek’s “Occupation Forces”
Occupation Forces is an augmented reality art project that allows the public to experience the invasion of the public space around them by aliens. These invaders can only be seen with the use of a smart phone, equipped with a special alien detection app. Otherwise, the invasion takes place undetected by an unsuspecting population. As users cross the length of the Greenway Park, and are on their way to visit CyberartsCentral and the Boston Children’s Museum, they will encounter the invaders at multiple locations. They will witness the occupation intensify as they near the center of the Greenway park and the aliens interact with other park users, attempting to control foot traffic. Viewers experience an unfolding narrative through time and space, transforming daily real-world existence into something visually stunning and otherworldly. The project encourages people to explore the urban environment, letting them see the world like they never have before. For instructions visit:www.occupationforces.com/greenway.html.
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, CyberartsCentral at Atlantic Wharf, and Boston Children’s Museum, Apr.22 – May 24, FREE Opening Reception | Fri, Apr 22 | 5-8pm @ CyberartsCentral at Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress St., Boston, email@example.com, www.occupationforces.com
Manifest.AR, an international artists collective working with emergent forms of augmented reality as interventionist public art, will be creating a virtual exhibition in and around Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. The group sees this medium as a way of transforming public space and institutions by installing virtual objects and artworks, which respond to and overlay the configuration of located physical meaning. Utilizing this technology as artwork is an entirely new proposition and explores all that we know and experience as the mixture of the real and the hyperreal. Physically, nothing changes, the audience can simply download and launch an Augmented Reality Browser app on their iPhone or Android and aim the devices’ camera to view the world around them. The application uses geolocation software to superimpose computer generated three-dimensional art objects, enabling the public to see the work integrated into the physical location as if it existed in the real world.
Manifest.AR@ICA includes Mark Skwarek’s Parade to Hope, located in the Boston Harbor, Emerson College’s John Craig Freeman’s Tank Man and Goddess of Democracy (Tiananmen SquARed), Tamiko Thiel’s Jasmine Rain, a soft-curtain of Jasmine flowers falling around a golden cage that surrounds the viewer, and Will Pappenheimer’s signature psychedelic AR toads. Geoffrey Alan Rhodes will be exhibiting a new work titled MaoDoll(ar). Sander Veenhof, who made the world’s biggest AR work, a carpet of cubes surrounding the entire earth, will be presenting a minimalist take on the AR titled 1px.
Manifest.AR, or its members (the collective was recently founded in January of 2011), have participated in AR interventions at the Museum of Modern Art, Statue of Liberty, Venice Biennial, the White House and the Pentagon.
Participating artists: Mark Skwarek, John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer, Tamiko Thiel, Sander Veenhof, Virta-Flaneurazine, Patrick Lichty, Lily & Honglei (China), Christopher Manzione, Arthur Peters, Geoffrey Alan Rhodes,Nathan Shafer,Joseph Hocking,4 Gentlemen,Damon Baker, John Cleater
Instructions for Manifest.AR@ICA:
- Download the Layar Augmented Reality browser to your iPhone or Android, www.layar.com
- Launch the app and search “Manifest.AR” or click on m.layar.com/open/mainfestarica
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston: 100 Northern Ave., Boston, MA 02210, Apr 22 – May 8
Admission: $15 general admission, $13 seniors, $10 students, FREE members and youth 17 and under; Target Free Thursday Nights: FREE 5-9pm every Thurs, FREE for families (2 adults with children 12 & under) the last Sat of each month. Gallery Hours: Tues/Wed 10-5pm, Thurs/Fri 10-9pm, Sat/Sun 10-5pm.
Reception | Fri, Apr 22, 3-5pm Members of Manifest.AR will be hosting an informal educational conversation where the artists will demonstrate how to access the work and talk about individual projects outside on the deck at the ICA. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.manifestarblog.wordpress.com/ICA