Augmented Reality and Art
John Grade uses mixed reality technology to create a new kinetic sculpture based on an Arctic landform
September 13, 2017
On Friday, Sept. 15, artist John Grade will preview at the Anchorage Museum an installation combining kinetic sculpture with a mixed-reality holographic experience placing visitors within an Arctic landscape.
The installation is called Murmur; it is based on the exploration of an Arctic landform called pingos — ice mounds rising from permafrost soil that grow over centuries on the tundra and then collapse, leaving scars on the land.
Grade hopes Murmur’s impact will be several-fold: First, to alter the public’s awareness of the Arctic, among the world’s least populated regions and the most rapidly changing.
Second, to combine digital technologies (drone-based photogrammetry) with more traditional materials and craft-based skills to arrive at a hybrid sculptural representation of an actual landscape, challenging the boundaries of landscape art.
Third, to interrogate an emerging augmented reality technology (HoloLens), primarily targeted at engineers, to determine its viability for art and the opportunity for new immersive and multi-sensory experiences for museum visitors.
Fourth, to collapse together geological and human-based timescales by accelerating the pingo lifecycle to focus on how this ice-based timekeeper mirrors the Arctic’s changing climate.
Fifth, to provide populations outside major metropolitan centers (Anchorage, Alaska, and Mystic, Connecticut) access to a major contemporary art initiative.
See Grade preview Murmur and demonstrate Hololens technology in the museum atrium from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. Learn more about Murmur in this video.