Monday, September 28, 2009

Assessing Other AR Works (While adobe emails me back)

Wouldn't reviewing AR works, games and experiences be the greatest job in the world? What aspects of an AR work would lead to excellence? Let's give it a shot:

1) Lalala Lab's AR works' "AR Magic System" and "Careful, Fragile!" are both worth mention because they make meaningful, creative statements about identity and art using recently developed technologies (both were made in 2006). In Magic System, the artists seem to use a pre-established human ratio of eyes-to-mouth as a QR-Code to detect viewer's faces. Once detected, viewers faces are replaced by foreign visages (digitally laid over). The AR industry standard modus of the user staring at themselves on a screen is the most limiting aspect of the field today: the technology is tied to one place, one code, and the viewer has very little freedom of movement. However this technological imitation emphasizes Lalala lab's viewer-as-art message instead of detracting from the function of the installation overall.

The viewer is forced to solve a puzzle AR so often presents those unfamiliar with it: what's going on here?
Here, to answer this question the viewer must reassess their identity and experience what
their life could otherwise be. The designers take what would normally be another problem for AR designers,
the first moments of disbelief, and use them to a emphasize an artistic message regarding selfhood.

Careful, Fragile! uses what are now basic methods of laying a 3-dimensional object over a QR-Code (the vase, the black platform) to create an artwork concerning reproduction, originality and art itself. The vase-image is scripted to "fall off" of its pedestal whenever the QR-Code becomes obscured by a viewers passing hand. AGAIN, the artists take what would otherwise be a weakness in the tools they are using (QR-code obstruction) and make creative use of it with a bit of scripting.

Wonderful design.

The question remains: would these works gain acclaim today (three years later)? The technology has advanced to a point
where QR codes and face tracking have a been-there-done-that feel to them.

Other face-recognition projects, implemented later:

Transformers (

Lalala Lab's made incredible use of what they had when they had it by creatively designing their installations
around their technological shortcomings.

So how do I make creative use of new limitations today? Need to find the limitations first.

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