Place-based Somatic Augmented Reality as Critical Practice, AR[t] Magazine

By Meredith Drum Issue 4, November 2013

AR[t] Magazine is an initiative of AR Lab, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague

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As new augmented reality software has made production more accessible, there has been a surge of mobile AR projects produced by artists interested in place and situation. A notable subset use the virtual to make critical statements about social, cultural and political phenomena tied to, or associated with, a physical location. As new forms of public art, the works engage aspects of a participant’s experience of place generally negated by mobile devices. Exploring the physical setting, the built and natural environment, as well as the events and functions centered there, is often a main goal. The virtual forms point back to the material. Participants are not only asked to actively attend to the spatial and the corporal, they are also invited to consider and enter critical discourse on the history and future of unique spaces — how they are used and might be used.

Read more.

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, Rhizome.org and Turbulence.org. 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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