Augmented Reality Art pp 31-60
Critical Interventions into Canonical Spaces: Augmented Reality at the 2011 Venice and Istanbul Biennials
This chapter describes augmented reality interventions led by the author in 2011 with the artist group Manifest.AR at the Venice Biennale, and in collaboration with the design office PATTU at the Istanbul Biennale. The interventions used the emerging technology of mobile augmented reality to geolocate virtual artworks – visible for viewers in the displays of their smartphones as overlays on the live camera view of their surroundings – inside the normally curatorially closed spaces of the exhibitions via GPS coordinates. Our interventions used the site-specific character of the technology to create works of art that stand in dialogue with the sites and will retain their relevance long after the biennials are over. The site figures as the canvas for the artworks and forms an integral visual and contextual component of each artwork. Unlike physical art interventions, the artworks cannot be removed or blocked by the curators or other authorities, and will remain at those locations as long as the artist desires. The artworks exploit the site-specificity as an integral part of the artwork while simultaneously questioning the value of location to canonize works of art, and the power of the curator as gatekeeper to control access to the spaces that consecrate works of art as part of the high art canon.
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