Layar

Blog: Art

Layar Invades the 2011 Venice Biennale!

Adriane Goetz June 3, 2011

The 54th Venice Biennale Art Exhibition opens tomorrow, and just in case you’re not familiar, it has been among the top cultural events in the world for over a century, specializing in the avant-garde and showcasing the latest trends in contemporary art. With an historically “high art” reputation like that, it’s practically begging to be co-opted by guerilla Layar ARtists.



So if you make it out to Venice this weekend, or at least before the end of November, here are a few art installments that only the “Layar elite” can see:








Manifest.AR Intervention



The Cyber ARtist group returns with a series of eight “uninvited” art layers (see the full list here) consisting of their own pavilions that are actually competing with the “physical reality” pavilions via Sander Veenhof’s Battling Pavilions layer.









The Don Pigeon



Placed in Venice’s famous San Marco square, The Don Pigeon stands tall among the flock of real-life pigeons for a unique photo opportunity. According to its creators, “Forget the Biennale, forget the Guggenheim, this is what you want to see this summer!”









Where’s Franco



As a modern-day renaissance man, you can be sure that James Franco will be participating in a variety of activities at the Biennale. With the Where’s Franco layer, you can spot him in nine locations throughout the exhibition and even cozy up to him for a photo (let’s face it, this is the closest you’ll ever get).

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Two More ARt Exhibitions Opening in April

Adriane Goetz April 6, 2011










Image from the Gradually Melt the Sky exhibition invitation.

Last week we wrote about two Augmented Reality art shows opening this month in Philadelphia. Well, East Coasters, you can add two more to the list.



Some of Layar’s most innovative and active “ARtists” in the US, including Mark Skwarek, Will Pappenheimer and John Craig Freeman (along with other, internationally based, members of Manifest.AR like Sander Veenhof) kick off a new exhibition this Friday at Devotion Gallery in Brooklyn called Gradually Melt the Sky.



The exhibition runs from April 8 - May 1, and featured ARtwork includes a visualization of water contamination in the Williamsburg/Bushwick neighborhoods, a “Parade to Hope” and a re-creation of the 1989 Tiananman Protest.



The ARtists will then move these and other works to Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) from April 22 - May 8 for the Boston Cyberarts Festival. If you’re in the Boston area for the event, you can access the mobile site and ManifestAR layer here.

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Augmented Museums Are Becoming a Reality

Adriane Goetz April 4, 2011










From Jan Rothuizen’s AR(t) exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum.

There are virtually limitless ways and reasons to use augmented reality, but one of our favorite use cases on the Layar platform so far is art and augmenting museums.



A healthy number of museum-related layers already exist on the Layar platform. The Andy Warhol Museum layer displays important Warhol points around the city of Pittsburgh, Jan Rothuizen’s ARtours layer augments the Stedelijk Museum here in Amsterdam and Sander Veenhof and Mark Skwarek’s “uninvited” exhibition is on display at MoMa in New York City.



While most of our early adopters have focused on art museums, AR has a massive amount of potential for all types of museums.



If you’re not yet convinced, take it up with Paul Stork and Ebelien Pondaag of  Fabrique, members of the Layar Partner Network. The pair is presenting a paper titled Augmented Reality and the Museum Experience (which you can read here) and is hosting a workshop this week in Philadelphia at the Museums and the Web 2011 conference.



We’ll post Fabrique’s presentation slides later this week, so keep an eye out.

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Two Virtual ARt Exhibitions Powered by Layar Opening in April

Adriane Goetz March 31, 2011










“Miro Alien Chest-Burster” by Jon Rafman at the VPAP@PIFA AR exhibition in Philadelphia.

While there doesn’t appear to be an “Augmented Reality Awareness Month” yet, April is looking like a strong candidate. Besides the lovely weather here in Amsterdam and in many parts of the world (ideal for mobile AR experiences), there are already two Augmented Reality art exhibitions (in 3 locations) using the Layar platform so far this month.



The first runs from April 7-May 1 in Philadelphia, PA as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). This exhibition is a collaboration between Breadboard, a hybrid program at the University City Science Center dedicated to exploring the intersection of art, science and technology, and Layar Partner VPAP (Virtual Public Art Project).



VPAP@PIFA features 25 works of art placed strategically around around the city (like on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for instance). These 3D AR models include, but are not limited to, a giant alien snake (see image, right), a deformed foot that changes color, and a giant squid.










Mark Skwarek‘s “Occupation Forces” at the (Un)seen Sculptures exhibit in Sydney/Melbourne Australia.

Meanwhile, another ARt exhibition called (Un)seen Sculptures kicks off on April 9 in Sydney, Australia as part of the Surry Hills Festival then reopens in Melbourne on April 30.



The exhibition was organized by Australian new media artist Warren Armstrong and features 3D models created by 13 artists from across the globe, including a robot army (see image, left) a memorial for Japan, and a colony of hallucinogenic toads that copulate and then die.



You won’t be able to see the models yourself unless you’re physically present at the exhibition locations, but if you do go to one of these events, send us your screenshots! (content@layar.com)



Congratulations to all the artists, veteran Layar developers and new, for their phenomenal work. These are some of the best 3D models we’ve seen on Layar yet!

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Paul Aston’s Pecha Kucha Layer Explains Augmented Reality… in Augmented Reality

Adriane Goetz March 8, 2011










Aston’s Pecha Kucha AR slides are situated along the famous Avenyn street in Gothenburg, Sweden.

If you’re not familiar with Pecha Kucha, it’s a kind of show-and-tell for grownups that began in Tokyo circa 2003 that facilitates learning and networking among creative types.



The phrase “Pecha Kucha” comes from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat,” which captures the event’s informal, fast-paced agenda in which speakers from various disciplines within the creative field (from architecture to graphic design to performance art) present 20 slides for 20 seconds each on a topic they feel passionate about.



Artist turned mobile developer Paul Aston (a Brit living in Sweden) created a Pecha Kucha layer in order to better illustrate his presentation on Augmented Reality at Pecha Kucha Gothenburg. The presentation layer displays Aston’s 20 slides floating along the side of the road, each with a corresponding 20-second audio file launched from within the layer. It begins with an introduction to Augmented Reality, then progresses into numerous examples and use cases, as well as his own inspiration (The book Spook Country by William Gibson), then ends with a confident prediction for the future of AR and a call-to-action for the listener to get involved.










The giant squid that inspired Aston to get into AR.

Encouraging non-developers to get into AR makes a lot of sense for Aston, considering his own recent transition from “non-techie” to Layar developer. Aston began by using the layer creation tool Hoppala, then immersed himself in tutorials until he felt more confident in his development skills.



The folks behind Pecha Kucha liked Aston’s presentation method so much that they asked to him to create a similar layer in the same location to explain Pecha Kucha to newcomers.



Currently the only way to view Aston’s presentation is from Gothenburg, but we’re twisting his arm to make it visible internationally!



Aston recently accepted our invitation to join the Layar Partner Network as a Pioneer and plans to create more awesome AR content for clients with his company Different Signal; you can contact him at paul@differentsignal.com for business inquiries.

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