Augmented Reality Art pp 99-125

Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC) | Cite as

The Aesthetics of Liminality: Augmentation as an Art Form



Over the past 15 years to its emergence in the 2010s as an art medium, Augmented Reality has developed as a number of evidential sites. As an extension of virtual media, it merges real-time pattern recognition with goggles, finally realizing William Gibson’s sci-fi fantasy, or handheld devices. This creates a welding of a form of real-time video and virtual reality, or an optically registered simulation overlaid upon an actual spatial environment. Commercial applications have been numerous, including entertainment, like the Esquire Augmented Reality issue, sales in terms of Costco (an American big-box retailer) in their latest AR-enhanced in-store magazine, to navigation such as Oakley’s AR-equipped ski goggles. And even though AR-based works can be traced back into the late 1990s, much of this work required at least an intermediate understanding of coding and tethered imaging equipment from webcams to goggles. It is not until the advent of marker-based AR possessing lower entries to usage, as well as geolocational AR-based media through handheld devices and tablets that Augmented Reality as an art medium would begin to propagate. While one can make arguments that much AR-based art is a convergence between handheld device art and Virtual Reality, there are gestures that are specific to Augmented Reality that allow for its specificity as a genre. In this examination, we will look at some historical examples of AR, and critical issues of the AR-based gesture, such as compounding of the gaze, problematizing the retinal, and the representational issues of informatics overlays. This also generates four gestural vectors analogous to those defined in The Translation of Virtual Art (Lichty, The translation of art in virtual worlds. In: The oxford handbook of virtuality. Oxford University Press, New York, 2014a, 445), which we will examine through case studies. Through these studies, it is hoped that a deeper understanding of an augmented semiotics can be achieved.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Digital Studio PracticeUniversity of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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