Manifest:AR @ Corcoran
Exhibit: August 14 – September 1st, 2013
Panel and reception: August 31st, 2013, 12-2pm and 2-4pm
Manifest: AR is the second in the Gallery 31 Manifest series, focusing on the relationship between Art, Technology, and Exhibition spaces. This exhibition features the serendipitously titled Manifest.AR collective of artists who work with the burgeoning technology of Augmented Reality to place their artworks in site-specific virtual spaces accessible through ubiquitous smart mobile devices integrating sensors, processors, access to networks, and visual/audio displays.
The “AR space”, as Augmented Reality aficionados refer to this virtual overlay of information onto real-world objects, brings the wild-west freedoms of the internet into direct interface with physical reality. For the artist, AR is an opportunity to place an artwork in juxtaposition with any context – permission free. For the viewer, this is an opportunity to view a plurality of artworks at any site, and to participate in the discourse directly. For the museum, this is an opportunity to channel the multitude as exemplified by new institutions like Wikipedia.
This exhibition focuses on 6 projects from the larger Manifest.AR collective. Artists include: John Cleater, John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer, Mark Skwarek, Tamiko Thiel, and Sander Veenhof. Gallery 31 is the hub for the exhibition, but the show itself moves beyond the physical constraints of the gallery, into the monumental space of Washington DC, and in some cases beyond the authorial intentions of the artists – as the audience is encouraged to participate. We hope this exhibition – with all of its idiosyncratic pitfalls and egalitarian possibilities – represents a progressive alternative to the status quo.
Joseph Hale, Director of College Exhibitions
Corcoran College of Art and Design, Corcoran Gallery of Art
- Review in Washington Post’s free daily Express
The Hermetic Museum, John Cleater, 2013
“It will be apparent that it is difficult to discern which properties each thing possesses in reality.” (Democritus, 8th century B.C.)
“Do not wonder that I conceal my name, and refuse to appear to you. Face to face. I have come forward, not for the sake of any paltry glory, or of worldly praise, but to do you good. Moreover, my teachers, even the true philosophers, advised me not thus to risk my life for the sake of obtaining a high place in the world’s esteem, to expose myself to greedy robbers or to give occasion for many crimes by the prostitution of this profound secret. Experience teaches that many philosophers who gave no thought to their personal safety, have been killed and deprived of their tincture by greedy and powerful robbers; and it stands to reason that any one going about with a great treasure in his hand, must fall a prey to brigands.” Anonymous 17th c. from The Hermetic Museum.
The Hermetic Museum AR, ThingOscope, and Cloud 9 quilts designed, developed, and created by John Cleater. Cloud 9 quilts fabricated by Judith MacDonald. Audio created by John Cleater with Brian Dewan and Dan Dobson
Infiltr.AR is an experiment aiming to find out what’s the relevance and impact of geo-based augmented reality. The core of the project are two augments, positioned within the Oval Office and the Pentagon. The views of these augments are monitored in real-time, displayed on a google map and interpreted by an automated system that will display the message “Mission Completed” when the items are being viewed within the White House or Pentagon premises.
In order to achieve this, knowledge of the existence of the layar needs to be communicated to those that are capable of making this mission into a succes: president Obama or anyone within the White House or Pentagon opening the layar to view the balloon. The strategy to let them know about the augments, is through social media. The augments are interactive virtual balloons, displaying a text that can be altered by the public by using pre-defined twitter hashtags: #ovalofficechat or #pentagonchat. The public side of the project is about announcing a direct hotline to the president, through tweeting on either one of these channels.
By presenting information about this project in the Corcoran gallery, as well as projecting a live google map of the views of the layar, we hope to get one step closer to “infiltrating” the White House, i.e. letting the administration get curious enough to open the Layar. Social media outings saying “there’s a virtual infiltration inside the White House” will be of help. So, let’s get tweeting!
School Shootings eMorial, John Craig Freeman with Greg Ulmer
Built for smart phone mobile devices and network enabled tablets, School Shooting eMorial creates a lasting monument to victims of school shootings. Simply download and launch a mobile augmented reality browser and aim the devices’ camera at the open space, just west of the U.S. Capital Building on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The browser uses geolocation software to superimpose 3D virtual objects at precise GPS coordinates, integrating the memorial into the physical location as if it existed in the real world.
Shades of Absence: Governing Bodies, Tamiko Thiel 2013
Censorship tries to condemn artists and their artworks to absence and invisibility. In cases that attract widespread public notice, artists can actually gain prominence when their works are censored. In the majority of cases however both the artists and their work disappear soundlessly from the public discourse, with artists fearing negative consequences if they challenge the censors.
“Shades of Absence: Governing Bodies” is the fourth work in a series on censorship in the visual arts, which premiered at an intervention into the 2011 Venice Biennial. Images of contemporary artists whose works have been censored by (or due to threats by) members of the US government are reduced to silhouettes and surrounded by terms of transgression. The erased figures stand for countless lesser known artists who face censorship or persecution with no public support.
Its physical manifestation in the Gallery 31 references Robert Mapplethorpe and Paul Cadmus; the virtual manifestation additionally references (among others) the NEA 4 and Andres Serrano. It is visible all throughout the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Capitol Building and the NEA offices at the Old Post Pavilion, an axis of fierce public battles over censorship in the arts.
The augmented reality (AR) component of this work uses the ability of AR to penetrate walls and invade protected spaces, and manifest its presence at a site that gives the work added meaning. Viewers can touch the work on the display of their own smartphones to see information on these censored artists.
Sky Petition City, Will Pappenheimer + Zachary Brady, 2013
“Where is Petition City?” a man asks in Beijing during Zhao Liang’s 2009 Chinese film, “Petition.” It has become evident that Washington institutions no longer listen to the voice of the people. We need something we’ve never tried before. It is time to use sky writing to leave messages and pictograms over strategic institutions all over the Washington so that they will take notice. The mobile App, Sky Petition City, creates sky written messages and drawings in virtual airplane trails for the visions, thoughts and concerns of citizens and creative thinkers. Normally out of the financial reach of the general public, this grand scale sky image now becomes available for the general populace as a means of inescapable textual or pictorial address and redress. As each person’s contribution is replaced by the next, previous sky written imagery will be stacked onto the Washington Monument for further consideration.
Send a petition from anywhere: http://skypetitioncity.thruhere.net/
creatAR, By Mark Skwarek and Animesh Anand, performance with Jeremy Hight
The 2012 elections showed how deep the ideological divide is in the United States. CreatAR allows the U.S. and global public to create any objects they want at iconic locations around Washington DC. Someone might place an elephant while someone else counters with a donkey. Another person from home might counter both with a sign that says “zoo” around both. Another person may intervene and simple add a unicorn to comment on the whole debate and for fun. The possibilities for intervention are simply endless, creative and fun.
Mark Skwarek and Jeremy Hight will perform with and for the washington DC public and the global online community. They will be making things all over Washington DC , working to avert a brewing flame war from erupting between radical factions of the DC political elite.