Yesterday Jon Ippolito wrote ManifestAR regarding a book he is working on with Rick Rinehart, about the preservation of digital and performative culture called New Media and Social Memory. He asked the group if we had any thoughts about preserving Augmented Reality works.
One thought that comes to mind regarding his query, is that AR art practices represent a new and different form, and come with unique measures of ephemerality. I am thinking here of Allan Kaprow coining the term “Happening” in the late 1950s and 1960s. “Performance Art” fell short of adequately describing what it was they were trying to do. “Lick Jam” was both site specific, (you had to be there) and ephemeral (here today gone tomorrow). This is not to say that AR works of art are more like happenings than sculpture, rather they differ from both. It is not an exhibition or a performance. This is probably the significance of the term “Intervention.”
I always regard the making of networked art of any kind to be a bit akin to a message in a bottle being cast into a virtual sea. Long after Layar goes belly-up, smart phones are replaced by smart implants and Google’s Super Cell project replicates and uploads every piece of code ever written, some cyber-archiologist will dig up the remains of an archaic .L3D file two meters below low-tide in the Piazza San Marco and simply run a battery of neuro-emulation test to recover an old dilapidated shanty.
Also, ManifestAR was founded to chalenge the institutions of high culture, including the art market. The ephemerality of the work supports this claim.