Augmented Reality Art pp 139-147
Digital Borders and the Virtual Gallery
Augmented reality art, as a new media subset, distinguishes itself through its peculiar mechanics of exhibition and performative re-contextualization. It allows the artist to translocate the borders and constraints of the experience from physical to virtual, expressing the piece onto spaces independent of physical or locative constraint, yet still tethered to the real world. This practice of anchoring virtual assets to the physical world allows artists to make use of virtual properties such as mutability and replication, while engaging with issues of embodiment, performance, and presence. The art installation occurs not in the gallery, but on the hard drive of mobile devices. In this way AR artworks align themselves more perhaps with movements like net.art, where one must look to the loading screen as the gateway to the gallery, a space which – while mutable and infinitely configurable – is still proscriptive. AR may allow the artist to set many more of the work’s boundaries than in more traditional media, but even that freedom is still subject to the affordances of the software composing the work. Yet the ability to customize those boundaries, to draw one’s own curatorial borders and parameters, is in itself a freedom drawing from augmented reality’s strengths, inviting a model of the world as not one in which art happens, but one which is conditionally defined and experienced as an integrative work of art.
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