Augmented Reality Workshop and Public Talk with John Craig Freeman

Upgrade! San Francisco is proud to present two events with Boston-based media artist and activist John Craig Freeman at SOMArts Cultural Center (934 Brannan Street, San Francisco).

2-day Workshop: “Making Art with Augmented Reality” 
Saturday March 31st & Sunday April 1st, 11am–5pm both days.

Learn how to place digital 3D objects in real physical space (virtually) forever. Augments can be created in any scale for any location in the world and viewed through the camera and screen of mobile devices.

This workshop provides a hands-on and in-depth introduction to AR for participants to make giant artworks, public interventions and personal or historical memorials. This is a beginner to advanced workshop. No previous programming or design experience is required.

All participants in John’s workshop will have their finished digital augment and a 17″ x 22″ color print automatically added to the current SOMArts exhibition “I Am Crime: Art On the Edge of Law“.

Free Public Talk: “Emergent Technology as Art Practice and Public Art as Intervention”
Thursday, March 29th, 7-7:30PM meet and greet; 7:30-8:30PM lecture + questions.

John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public works at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. John is currently an Associate Professor of New Media, at Emerson College (Boston) in the Department of Visual and Media Arts and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, at UC San Diego.

Upgrade! SF, is a regular programming series with speakers and socializing designed to foster community around new media arts in San Francisco

Support for this workshop is provided by Southern Exposure Gallery Alternative Exposure Grant Program.

About John Craig Freeman

John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public work at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. His work seeks to expand the notion of public by exploring how digital networked technology is transforming our sense of place. Freeman is a founding member of the international artists collective Manifest.AR and he has produced work and exhibited around the world including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, FACT Liverpool, Kunsthallen Nikolaj Copenhagen, Triennale di Milano, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing, He has had work commissioned by the ZERO1, and His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, El Pais, Liberation, Wired News, Artforum, Ten-8, Z Magazine, Afterimage, Photo Metro, New Art Examiner, Time, Harper's and Der Spiegel. Christiane Paul cites Freeman's work in her book Digital Art, as does Lucy Lippard in the Lure of the Local, and Margot Lovejoy in Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age. His writing has been published in Rhizomes, Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure. Freeman received a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is currently a Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston. Freeman writes, “If Andy Warhol set out to create a distinctly American art form in the twentieth century, I identify with those who seek to create a distinctly global art form in the twenty-first.”
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2 Responses to Augmented Reality Workshop and Public Talk with John Craig Freeman

  1. Wow John, your workshop sounds fantastic! I guess Siggraph started me thinking about AR, and then your talks at CAA have made it all more urgent for me. What options are available for an avatar? I know Blue Mars made an app where you could “place” your BM avatar “in” Google Street view. (and walk around) can an avatar from Poser or Second Life be in an AR layer? Is there a specific file format? And can I walk around? Or static 3D objects? Sorry for so many questions! 😛 Guess I should do some research, but I just read your post and got excited. haha. TY! 🙂

  2. Hi Vaneeesa, Let’s have this discussion via email. The issue of the role of avatars in augmented reality is something that I have given a fair amount of thought to. many of the artists who are most active in AR art, were active in Second Life, including myself, You maybe familiar with the Virta-Flaneurazine project,, which I did a while back with Will Pappenheimer. One of the first things I did in AR was to start migrating elements of VF from SL to AR, including Virta-Rat, the clinic’s resident test subject,

    Importing an avatar model into AR is pretty straight forward. The file has to be in the .OBJ file format and not exceed 1MB with the texture. Animating the model is a bit more complicated, but can be done. However embodiment is a much more complex proposition. In theory, it is possible. I am just now starting to really sink my teeth into dynamic AR content. The question would be, what kind of experience would the human agent have; what would a person see from the avatar’s perspective; and how would the avatar interact with people on location? I am sure that there are plausible answers to these questions, but they are perplexing. I think that is what makes the idea interesting.

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