Augmented reality is content that’s hidden from the naked eye. Those who create augmented reality applications render images into our surroundings which gives the viewer a chance to experience virtual reality, an illusion based on what or how the creator has placed these 3D creations around our worldly surroundings. To access this type of virtual reality one must require a smartphone. The smartphone’s camera is held up to a barcode or marker in the area where augmented reality exists. The phone creates the added images over the top of the true surroundings based on where about’s the camera is pointed. An internet connection is required to access augmented reality applications and a fast connection is preferable.
Augmented reality first came about in the 50’s and has grown in popularity since then, however it gained most of its momentum throughout the 90’s.
Joshua Abraham a professor and the creator of an augmented reality mobile phone application which is used to explore the Virtualidades exhibition. This exhibition is held in Mexico’s Galeria Merida. The installation includes dismantled sculptures, ready made and recycled materials which are placed strategically around the exhibition, When looking at the exhibition through the naked eye one would think it might be unfinished. But when pointing a smartphone at the artworks they tell a different story. Each piece appears very different to one another, some of the illusions include random objects added to an otherwise empty room, missing pieces of a sculpture appearing and objects appearing in a way that suggests they are interacting with the audience.
Although it is impressive that technology has advanced to such a level that it is able to achieve these kinds of digital affects I feel that it is the technology that people are impressed with rather than the artworks or creativity behind the exhibition. The other thing that turns me off personally is the use of a smartphones. I understand that this makes it cheaper for the artist as they do not have to supply the audience with any viewing devices, and additionally it makes it easily accessible for most of the audience as the majority of the public already own smartphones. But I don’t like the idea of viewing life through a piece of technology. We have both eyes and ears that are so geniusly engineered so why should we settle for a pixellated illusion viewed through a phone screen when we could potentially go to the National Gallery of Victoria and view some breathtaking art in the physical sense. However this may be a biased opinion as I myself am not drawn to virtual or augmented reality as an art form.
View the clip below to form your own opinion on the Virtualidades exhibition.
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