FACT Seeing THINGS Cleater

I Must Be Seeing THINGS presentation’ By John Cleater Feb 2012;
updated July 26, 2012

‘I Must Be Seeing THINGS’ is an Augmented Reality experience that ‘tests’ users engagement with abstract imagery by asking users what they are seeing, thinking, hearing  and encouraging users to free associate images, sounds, and narrative.

Resources: The Rorschach Test, The Psychedelic Experience (LSD), Max Ernst’s illustrated book ‘The Hundred Headless Woman (La Femme 100 Tete)’, graffiti and tattoo art.

I imagine at least 3 ways of seeing THINGS @ FACT. 

1. ArtSense: In a controlled environment at FACT, visitors don the biosensing apparatus and look through the printed THINGS catalog, attempting to make sense of the images and jotting down notes/their thoughts on the adjacent page. Concurrently, as the viewer’s senses are monitored and recorded, numerical figures and associated images are displayed on a nearby screen. These reflect the viewer’s ‘score’ or level of engagement, which measures the challenges encountered in deciphering the drawing (i.e., * a ‘beginner’ score of 33/100 might display a lobster and an ‘expert’ score of 69/100 might display a crustacean morphed into an ice skating in-patient).

2. Public AR viewing in and around FACT: Once viewers have familiarized themselves with the THINGS drawings displayed on the ‘Reading Room’ walls in gallery 2, and/or by looking through the printed THINGS catalog, they may choose favorite drawings to enter into by way of Layar (on their smart phones). Viewers gain access to each drawing’s AR environment by scanning the drawing or its associated stamped icon. As they would a bird watching field guide, viewers carry the catalog with them. It will serve as a portal through which viewers can enter into the drawings in environments of their choosing (via AR), whether at FACT or beyond. Viewers can also keep an eye out for stamped THINGS icons to scan; these may be located on walls or bodies inside and outside of FACT. Also available will be a ‘Periscope’ THINGS viewing station at the top of the stairs looking down into the public space where one will see THINGS mapped on the curved walls before them. There will be a large THINGS wall marker; a vinyl adhesive located at first landing headed up public stairs which will be cueing the periscope viewer.

3. Community pARticipation: Tattoo and graffiti enthusiasts may borrow or purchase rubber stamps and temporary tattoos at FACT to spread their favARite THING by stamping it in locations where they would like others to see THINGS as they saw them. I am keen on tapping into the local graffiti and tattoo community by encouraging tagging on existing graffiti hotspots or people’s bodies in Liverpool. Other locations for stamping could include bathroom stalls, a tree, a friend’s back door or face. (See example below)

The above images show the physical elements used to augment the experience of I Must Be Seeing THINGS @ FACT: A printed catalog of THINGS, rubber stamps & ink, stamped cards and/or tickets, temporary tattoos for kids, and the original THINGS pencil drawings. Most of the above items would be available for purchase or ‘sign-out’ lending @ FACT.

1. THING #36 stamp on my house 2. Close-up in Layar Vision 3. THING #36 info and range 4. About THING #36 5. THING #36 circling around my house seen in Layar on my phone 6. THING #36 circling near my house; seen in Layar on my phone


The above images display an example of how a person enters into an AR environment of THING #36. After recognizing a stamp on my house, one scans it with their phone or iPad using Layar Vision at which point one can read info about it and view a large-scale AR translation of THING #36 circling above.

This example shows THING #36 in a transparent state at a huge scale flying above the viewer. As I develop each of the 69 individual THINGS in AR, I will imbue each THING with unique qualities such as scale, opacity, and motion. Some may even have built-in triggers that link the user to FACT and ArtSense info, underwater sea life, psychological research tools, nearby graffiti hotspots, and tattoo parlors.

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