The Intersection of Art and Technology: how augmented reality art forms have transformed the way viewers interact with the real world
Augmented Reality (AR) has become more interconnected with our world, enhancing research, testing, and productivity across multiple sectors. However, the benefits of AR are not limited to the pragmatic; it has also paved the way for the exploration and expansion of art.
More accessible on smartphones, augmented reality has given artists the opportunity to integrate their works into a real space in the world. This collaboration of technology and art has given birth to creative innovations that intertwine the real and the imagined into one transformative experience.
Apple has partnered with the New Museum in New York to offer [AR]T, an augmented reality experience involving large-scale virtual artworks in six major cities around the globe. This AR series showcases the works of seven artists, providing an interactive experience for the viewers in which the art is integrated into the actual city.
These works of art vary from inspirational phrases that materialize in the air to humanoid figures dancing on top of skyscrapers.This fusion of AR and art introduces an entirely new level of dynamic and visual storytelling, allowing artists to reach beyond the art gallery and weave their works into the urban fabric of the real world.
Another example of how augmented reality has transformed the viewer’s experience with art is manifested in the AR experience programmed for Rembrandt’s painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.
Design agency CapitolaVR has made it possible for Mauritshuis museum visitors to virtually enter this famous painting through the Rembrandt Reality app, which provides an augmented reality experience inside the artwork itself through holographic 3D renditions scanned from an actual reconstruction of Rembrandt’s painting. By using their smartphones, users can walk into the scene depicted in the artwork and explore the story behind it from all angles.
Then AR is taken to a whole new level (literally) in the form of artist Jon Emmony’s Digital Falls, a virtual experience programmed into the atrium of London’s Selfridges department store. This interactive work of art winds through all five stories of the atrium, transforming the space into a pillar of water filled with shapes based on bioluminescent creatures that become larger as the viewer ascends through the atrium. Visitors can explore this augmented world through the Digital Falls app, their individual experiences varying from one another depending on what level they start at.
As today’s artists integrate their works into the virtual realm, the public has the ever-growing opportunity to interact with a place that they may frequently visit in an entirely new way. The more augmented reality expands and bleeds into other disciplines, the more opportunities creatives have to explore new mediums and spark new ideas.