ARt: Augmented Reality to be Featured at Cyberarts Gallery

Although the world is abuzz about Pokémon GO, the first wildly popular game to use augmented reality (AR), artists have been creating AR art for years. To recognize some early adopters of AR technology, the Boston Cyberarts Gallery will present an exhibition entitled “ARt: Augmented Reality.”

The exhibition runs from September 17 through October 30, with an opening reception September 16.

Featured artists include: Joseph Farbrook, John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer, and Zachary Brady.

AR Exhibit - Art-Cyberarts
“Drawing Constellations” by William Pappenheimer with Zachary Brady

Drawing Constellations by Will Pappenheimer, in collaboration with Zachary Brady, is an interactive drawing, installation, and app that uploads drawings to a constantly moving and evolving three-dimensional “constellation” situated outside the Gallery. Upon creating a drawing on a tablet, the user’s 3D drawing is then transferred into 3D augmented reality space, superimposed and sited at the gallery by GPS location.

Defending Virtual by Joseph Farbook is an AR-artwork in which a $100 bill rests on a traditional pedestal, inciting temptation. When viewed through a tablet screen, the bill is defended by a hand holding a gun and making threatening gestures at anyone who gets too close. As money is arbitrarily produced by governments, trade wildly on the stock exchange, and commoditized into debt, what does it currently represent? Both the value of money, and the defense of its value have become entirely virtual. Yet the consequences are often devastatingly real.

Green Street and AR, by John Craig Freeman is a site-specific AR art piece for smartphones and mobile devices. There are particular locations around the world where network activity has become so intense that the virtual world has begun to penetrate into the real world. Objects appear to replicate and float off into the sky. Entire buildings lose their mooring and drift away at the intersection of Green Street and AR.

About Boston Cyberarts

Boston Cyberarts is an umbrella organization for several ventures that focus on new and experimental media. George Fifeld founded it in 1999 with seed funding the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He defines “cyberart” as any artistic endeavor in which computer technology is used to expand artistic possibilities. In cyberart, the computer’s unique capabilities are integral elements of the creative process, in the same way that paint, photographic film, musical instruments, and other materials have always been used to express an artist’s vision.

In 2001, the Boston Cyberarts Festival presented one of the first Augmented Reality artworks in the world. Bruce Campbell from the Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Washington showed his BCFlora, a simulator for plant structure created from a virtual plant genome in a Magic Book augmented reality environment.

During the 2011 Cyberarts Festival, Mark Skwarek placed an AR set of invading aliens throughout the Greenway Conservancy, around the Festival headquarters at Atlantic Wharf and across the channel to the Children’s Museum. Plus, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) hosted Manifest AR, an international group of AR artists who placed multiple AR art inside and outside the ICA.

The Boston Cyberarts Gallery supports experimentation in the arts through exhibitions, events, education, and collaboration with like-minded groups. The goal is to foster the development of new practices in contemporary art-making.

Located in the Green Street station on the MBTA’s Orange line in Jamaica Plain, the Boston Cyberarts Gallery is the only art space in the country located in a train station.

The ARt: Augmented Reality exhibition is free and open to the public.


2011: See New Forms of Art at Cyberarts Festival