Examples of work done by ManifestAR members in public squares, parks, borders and other public spaces.
Boston Cyberarts Festival
First exhibited in downtown Indianapolis as part of the city’s Intermedia Festival in April 2010, “Occupation Forces,” by Mark Skwarek is a very early use of augmented reality as public art for mobile phones. In this version, virtual alien invaders occupy the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy in Downtown Boston during the 2011 Boston Cyberarts Festival.
Bushwick Intervention 2010
Tamiko Thiel: "Seven Portraits for Maria Hernandez'" Bushwick AR Intervention, in November 2010, This AR work was created as memorials to former residents of the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, and placed in public parks and intersections in the neighborhood.
“Tiananmen SquARed” is a two part augmented reality public art project and memorial, by the anonymous ARt collective 4Gentlemen, dedicated human rights and democracy worldwide. The project includes virtual replicas of the Goddess of Democracy and Tank Man from the 1989 student uprising in Tiananmen Square. Both augmentations have been placed in Beijing at the precise GPS coordinates where the original incidents took place and other public squares worldwide.
- In Butterfly Lovers, by Lily & Honglei, the painted figures in traditional costumes are derived from a popular Chinese folktale Butterfly Lovers (梁山伯与祝英台) regarded as the equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. The Augment Reality installation addresses issues of cultural displacement and diaspora, and visualizes the restless, roaming cultural spirit of the East hidden in western metropolis.
Venice Biennial 2011 AR Intervention, Piazza San Marco
"Shades of Absence" by Tamiko Thiel is a pavilion for artists whose works have been censored - including by the Venice Biennial. Gold silhouettes of anonymized artists surrounded by terms of transgression represent the countless unknown artists who suffer censorship with little or no public support. Tamiko Thiel was the main curator for the ManifestAR Venice Biennial 2011 AR Intervention and placed versions of this work in the 54th Venice Biennial exhibit "ILLUMInations" in front of the Giardini Central Pavilion, and in the Venice main square Piazza San Marco.
“Water wARs,” by John Craig Freeman, is a pavilion for undocumented artists/squatters and water war refugees, which anticipates the flood of environmental refugees into the developed world caused by environmental degradation, global warming and the privatization of the world’s drinking water supply by multinational corporations like Bechtel.
- Viewing all of the art on display at the Venice Biennial was infinitely more difficult to achieve in 2011 because of the massive appearance of illegal artworks in augmented reality. “Battling Pavilions,” by Sander Veenhoff allowed anyone in Giardini to delete any illegal virtual pavilions encountered or to add their own.
Al Tahrir Square Cairo
Developed for Manifest.AR's exhibit at the Boston Cyberarts Festival and the ICA Boston, Tamiko Thiel's "Jasmine Rain (birdcage)" contrasts a rain of jasmine flowers as a symbol of hope with the danger of confinement in a golden cage. Both a tribute and a warning to the Jasmine Revolutions, it is placed at sites of successful revolutions and in public spaces around the world to keep the revolutions in the public conciousness.
Woodstock New Media Festival 2011
- Drone Spinner , by Will Pappenheimer, Woodstock, Vermont has forged ahead to deliver free wireless access to its town. And so the beautiful rural countryside now has the world of the Internet superimposed on its town’s picturesque homes, fields, steams and mountainsides. This invisible network has now begun to leak objects, force fields and visions at various points in the grid.
DUMBO Arts Festival 2011
In “Sky Pavilions” by John Cleater, an alien Sky Pavilions takes over DUMBO. “Sky Pavilions” includes audio by The Magic Stranger and Dewanatron.
In order to facilitate more movement and foot traffic across the East River during the DUMBO Arts Festival, “Revolving Bridges,” by Will Pappenheimer, allows two of Manhattan’s busiest bridges, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge, to detached from either side and slowly rotate 360°. Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s prototype, automobiles and pedestrians can board the bridges from many vantage points but only in limited numbers. The twin bridge configuration also resembles the barnyard turnstile, which regulates human and animal flow.
Tamiko Thiel: "Shades of Absence" brings information on censored artists into the public sphere. The golden silhouettes of censored artists, surrounded by terms of censorship, create a dramatic visual contrast to the towering bridges, broad expanse of the East River and the skyline of Manhattan. Beautiful to view, touching the screen also brings up information on cases of censorship, bringing information that is often forgotten back into public view.
“Crystal Coffin,” by Lily & Honglei, is inspired by the crystal coffin displayed in Mausoleum of Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Square since 1977, a year after Mao’s death. In the twenty first century, while China has been transforming itself into a modern society in many ways and gaining more influences economically and politically around the globe, Mao’s crystal coffin, the immortal-looking shell, remains a symbol of an authoritarian ruling system.
Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
The Korean Unification Project, by Mark Skwarek, unites North and South Korea with augmented reality. The project tries to heal the scars left by years of conflict in the Korean peninsula by removing the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and returning it to its natural state before Korea was divided. The public may view Korea as a unified country as it once was. The Korean Unification Project removes weapons, checkpoints, fortifications, barriers, walls, and all reminders of the ongoing conflict from the Korean landscape.
Border Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos
“Border Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos,” by John Craig Freeman and Mark Skwarek is an augmented reality public art project and memorial, dedicated to the thousands of migrant workers who have died along the U.S./Mexico border in recent years trying to cross the desert southwest in search of work and a better life. This project allows people to visualize the scope of the loss of life by marking each location where human remains have been recovered along the border and the surrounding desert.
AR Occupy Wall Street
Protesters were not allowed to protest at Wall Street during the Occupy Wall Street uprising, forcing them blocks from the New York Stock Exchange to Zuccotti Park. Wall Street was barricaded off. Only part of the sidewalk is accessible to the public and there was a constant police presence around both the protesters and the Stock Exchange at all times. Organized by Mark Skwarek, “#arOCCUPYWALLSTREET” takes the protest to the heart of the financial district directly in front of the Stock Exchange. Augments now blanket the entire financial district.
Tamiko Thiel: "Reign of Gold" surrounds the viewer in a rain of $50 US golden eagle coins. It obviously refers to the US and Wall Street, but can be viewed all over the city - and indeed all over the world - in front of appropriate objects of protest.
- On November 15th, 2011, after two months of occupation, Mayor Bloomberg cleared Zuccotti Park of protesters in a surprise nighttime raid. The park is now permanently occupied thanks to augmented reality.