ARt: Augmented Reality

Although the world is abuzz with the first successful and widely popular game using Augmented Reality (AR), Pokémon GO, artists have been creating AR art for years. Joseph Farbrook, John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer and Zachary Brady are all pioneers and early adopters of AR technology. The Boston Cyberarts Gallery is proud to present these artists in ARt: Augmented Reality for our first exhibition of the season.

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Green Street & AR, John Craig Freeman, immersive augmented reality, Cyberarts Gallery, Boston, 2016.

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 3-dimensional “constellation” situated within and outside of the gallery. Upon creating a drawing on a tablet, the user’s drawing is then transferred into 3D augmented reality space, superimposed and sited at the gallery by GPS location.
Defending Virtual by Joseph Farbrook is an AR artwork in which a one hundred-dollar bill rests on a traditional pedestal, inciting temptation. When viewed through a tablet screen, the bill is defended by a hand holding a gun, waving and aiming throughout the room, making threatening gestures at anyone who gets too close. As money is arbitrarily produced by governments, traded wildly on the stock exchange, and commoditized into debt, what exactly does it currently represent? Both its value and defense of its value have become entirely virtual, yet the consequences of this are often devastatingly real.
Green Street & AR, by John Craig Freeman, is a site-specific AR art piece for smart phones 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. Objects appear to replicate and float off into the sky. Entire buildings lose their mooring and drift away at the intersection of Green Street & AR.

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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